Chennai 26 Feb 2014. One of the blood cancers (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia; ALL) with very poor outcome has been successfully tackled by combining NK cells based Autologous Immune Enhancement Therapy (AIET; www.aietforcancer.org) by hemato-oncologists at Apollo Specialty hospital, Chennai lead by Dr. Revathi Raj, in technical collaboration with Nichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM). The patient was 15 years old when she was diagnosed to have Philadelphia chromosome positive ALL with persistent disease after initial chemotherapy and imatinib. Hematopoietic stem cell transplant is usually offered for such cases as it is a high risk disease. However, she did not have a matched donor in her family. This novel immune-cell therapy which has been in clinical practice in Japan for more than two decades was attempted along with chemotherapy. Following the AIET, her ALL has been in complete remission. Five-years since then, she is leading a healthy life. AIET is a therapy to consider for high risk cases of ALL in the future says Dr Revathi Raj, the corresponding author of the work, published in the Indian Journal of Hematology and Blood Transfusion*.
AIET method uses patients own peripheral blood derived immune cells such as Natural Killer Cells which are responsible for keeping under control the development of cancer. This type of therapy has been used in many solid tumors with several randomized trials proving the safety and efficacy. To our knowledge, this is the first case report of ALL and Philadelphia Chromosome treated with a successful outcome. The scientists at NCRM, follow the same protocol and materials as reported earlier in technical collaboration with Biotherapy Institute of Japan, Tokyo.
*The publication is available online at: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12288-013-0327-3