New Gene Therapy to Battle Leukemia
According to an article published in STAT news on July 12, 2017, the groundbreaking CAR-T cancer therapy is ready to reach its patients.
Novartis, one of the largest multinational pharmaceutical companies in Switzerland, has proposed a therapy for treatment of children and adults suffering from advanced leukemia. This therapy known as CAR-T therapy or CTL019, is a customized treatment made by harvesting the white blood cells of patients and rewiring them on tumors. It’s the first CAR-T therapy to come before the FDA, leading a pack of novel treatments that promise to change the standard of care for certain aggressive blood cancers.
The therapy is now awaiting the FDAs approval, which is likely to be announced by October 3, 2017. The Kite CAR-T for the treatment of adults with aggressive lymphoma is expected to be approved by November 29, 2017.
In a clinical trial, 83 percent patients were left cancer-free after three months from the treatment.
The panelists, however feared the risk of deadly viral diseases, growth of new tumors and brain toxicity, after years of injecting the genetically modified cells into patients. For the safety of patients, Novartis has assured to check on patient for a period of 15 years after receiving CTL019.
Each dose of CAR-T is customized for an individual, which involves a complex process of human cells being safely carried across the country, reliably improved, and safely returned. The Novartis is expected to gain lucrative profits once the CAR-T therapy is FDA-approved and out in the market. This therapy has the potential to transform the treatment of cancer worldwide, saving the lives of myriad sufferers.
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