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Body & Brain

Leukemia gene therapy, the brain tickle of beautiful voices and more in this week's news

4:27pm, August 18, 2011

Gene therapy for leukemia
Tweaking immune cells to attack cancer cells in leukemia patients can bring about remission, a small study shows. Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania genetically altered immune T cells to target malignant cells in chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients and mass produced the T cells before injecting them into three patients. The modified cells gravitated to bone marrow, where they killed malignant cells. In two of three patients tested the cancer went into remission, and a portion of the genetically modified T cells persisted, possibly as a cadre of defenders on standby. The researchers report the findings in the Aug. 10 Science Translational Medicine. —Nathan Seppa


Gout drug lessens flares
A drug approved in 2010 for treatment of gout has proved its worth, reducing symptoms over six months in many people who had failed to get relief from standard m

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