Our latest podcast is about how families cope with cancer, and the scientific progress helping them through.
Austin was diagnosed with a type of blood cancer called acute lymphoblastic leukaemia when he was 2 years old.
His treatment was very difficult, but he recovered. Then his cancer came back.
The process started again, with stronger drugs and side effects.
Again, he recovered, and again, a few years later, the cancer came back.
The painful cycle continued until Austin’s parents, Lou and Scott, found a trial for a new type of cancer treatment called CAR-T cell therapy.
In 2016, scientists took some cells from Austin’s immune system. Dr Sara Ghorashian, from the Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, changed them so they could recognise cancer cells as a threat. Then they were put back into Austin’s body.
Since then, Austin has been cancer free. Now he’s even helping researchers find out how to make CAR-T cell therapy more effective.
Lou and Scott take us through Austin’s story, and Sara guides us through the science that has helped keep it going. We also speak to Caroline Leek, a former scientist who specialises in supporting families affected by cancer, about how focusing on fun can help adults and children talk about painful and emotional experiences.
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