Leave it to medical science to push the envelope. According to the New York Times, doctors at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia have been testing out a new cancer treatment: infecting a patient’s T-cells with a disabled form of H.I.V. In a nutshell, the T-cells are extracted from the patient and genetically modified to attack cancer cells. H.I.V. virus is added to the mix since it helps carry the new genetic material to those T-cells.

Emma Whitehead was six years old when the hospital tried their AIDS treatment on her. Her acute lymphoblastic leukemia is now seven months in remission. Another three adult patients have experienced the same full remission. There have, of course, been stumbles and failures along the way (as with any new medical treatment).

But for the Whiteheads, and for who knows how many future cancer patients, AIDS is a cure.