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seattlechildrenMarking a milestone in the fight against cancer, Seattle Children’s Research Institute this afternoon reported that the first patient in a closely watched clinical trial has had a positive response to the treatment — which involves reprogramming the body’s infection-fighting T-cells to target cancer instead.

Researchers say Lynsie Conradi, 23, of Bellingham, Wash., has displayed a positive response to the therapy, with no current detection of leukemia cells after experiencing a second relapse of leukemia earlier this year.

The approach could provide an alternative to chemotherapy and radiation for cancer treatment. The clinical trial is led by Dr. Rebecca Gardner, a GeekWire Geek of the Year.

Conradi’s mother, Donna Rainford, points to the potential of the approach in this Seattle Children’s blog post. “T-cell therapy will change the way we treat cancer,” she says. “Watching Lyns suffer from the effects of chemo almost two weeks after it’s all done makes me thankful that it will soon be a thing of the past. Bring on those T-cells as part of the normal protocol for other cancer patients!”

The institute’s Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research is one of only a few places in the country running these types of trials. It’s currently accepting patients into the study ages 18 to 26 years old. More information is available here.

More: Dr. Rebecca Gardner is reprogramming blood cells to kill cancer

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