in it to win it
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 17, 2012 02:02 PM
Young Emily Whitehead, who turned 7 in May, was saved from near death from leukemia after relapsing twice after chemotherapy – and with all viable options running out. In desperation, her parents sought experimental treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, using a disabled form of the virus that causes AIDS to reprogram her immune system genetically to kill cancer cells.
“She is the first child and one of the first humans ever in whom new techniques have achieved a long-sought goal — giving a patient’s own immune system the lasting ability to fight cancer,” reports The New York Times.
The treatment, developed at the University of Pennsylvania, the Times noted in a separate story, “may signify a turning point in the long struggle to develop effective gene therapies against cancer. And not just for leukemia patients: other cancers may also be vulnerable to this novel approach — which employs a disabled form of H.I.V.-1, the virus that causes AIDS, to carry cancer-fighting genes into the patients’ T-cells. In essence, the team is using gene therapy to accomplish something that researchers have hoped to do for decades: train a person’s own immune system to kill cancer cells.”
“Our goal is to have a cure, but we can’t say that word,” said Dr. Carl June, lead of the U Penn research team, echoed by his colleague, Dr. John Wagner, director of pediatric blood and marrow transplantation at the University of Minnesota, who said the Pennsylvania results were “phenomenal” and “what we’ve all been working and hoping for but not seeing to this extent. I think this is a major breakthrough.”
Cue Novartis, which has committed $20 million to building a research center on the university’s campus to ready the treatment for public consumption. In August 2012, Novartis acquired exclusive rights from Penn to CART–19, the therapy now known as CTL019. Unlike trials for commercial development of drugs like Viagra or cholesterol meds where millions consume the same drugs, Emma’s treatment requires a new batch of T-cells for each patient.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 24, 2012 05:06 PM
Joseph Wharton founded the world’s first business school more than 130 years ago, building on University of Pennsylvania founder Benjamin Franklin’s belief that the desire and ability to serve mankind should be "the great aim and end of all learning."
Now Penn's famed Wharton School has turned its management focus onto intself to come up with a new brand platform, "Knowledge for... ", proffering its resources and assets around themes including "Knowledge for Life," "Knowledge for Global Impact" and "Knowledge for Action."Continue reading...