Natural killer cells to treat leukemia

flexmag11-focus-cellules-tueusesAcute myeloid leukemia (AML) is caused by the blood stem cell dysfunction. As they develop, the pathological stem cells turn into immature cells, called ‘blast cells’, which replace the normal cells. AML is known to evolve rapidly and most commonly affects adults. As it is resistant to chemotherapy, the likelihood of curing AML is very low. Results of an American experimental therapy publication last September have brought hope to patients. This new form of immunotherapy involves removing natural killer cells from a healthy donor, modifying them to attack the blast cells, and then administering them intravenously. Researchers have observed complete remission in 4 out of 9 perfused patients. More long-term trials are anticipated to prove the treatment’s viability.