Two melanoma patients on Tuesday became the first to betreated for cancer using genetically altered cells, the NationalInstitutes of Health said.

The experimental technique was used on a 29-year-old womanand a 42-year-old man, both of whom faced "limited" lifeexpectancies if left untreated, said Dr. Steven A. Rosenberg ofthe National Cancer Institute. "Both tolerated the therapy welland are resting easily now," he said. The effects on the patients'tumors won't be known for a few months.

Cells were altered by the insertion of a gene that causes thecells to produce tumor necrosis factor.

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