T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (T-ALL)

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    In News

    • Recently, the experimental treatment called base editing gave ground-breaking results in clearing a T-ALL cancer

    About T-ALL

    • Recently, a teenager was diagnosed with a particular type of blood cancer.
      • She was diagnosed with a kind of blood cancer known as T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL).
        • T-ALL affects the stem cells in the bone marrow that produce a particular kind of white blood cells (WBC) called T lymphocytes (T cells). 
        • These cells provide a person immunity by killing cells carrying infections, activating other immune cells, and regulating the immune response.
      • At least 20% of these WBC are atypical as they accumulate in the bone marrow, and they crowd out good WBCs and hence weaken the immune system. 
        • These unhealthy cells can also accumulate in other parts of the body like the liver, spleen and lymph nodes.
      • T-ALL is found in both children and adults, but incidence decreases with age.

    How is T-ALL typically treated?

    • Typical treatment for T-ALL is like that of any leukaemia which includes chemotherapy and stem cell/bone marrow transplant.
    • Overall treatment for T-ALL is effective where children have a survival rate of over 85 percent after five years of receiving this treatment.

    What is Base Editing?

    • Scientists have been able to zoom into a precise part of the genetic code to alter the molecular structure of just one base thus effectively changing its genetic instructions.

    Source: IE