Friday, July 7, 2017

Cell experiment shows 'extraordinary' promise

Can new gene therapy change patient's own blood into a cancer killer? Quite possibly

Turning your own blood into cancer killers may now be possible.

According to a new study reported recently by the Associated Press, more than a third of very sick lymphoma patients showed no sign of the blood cancer six months after a single treatment of an experimental gene therapy.

Findings of the study, the story by Marilynn Marchione indicated, were made by the treatment's maker, California-based Kite Pharma, which purportedly "is racing Novartis AG to become the first to win approval of the treatment, called CAR-T cell therapy," in the United States.

The treatment could become the nation's first approved gene therapy, the AP article indicated.

Side effects appear to be manageable.

There are risks involved, of course. "Three of the 101 patients in the study died of causes unrelated to worsening of their cancer," the story said, "and two of those deaths were deemed due to the treatment," which was developed at the National Cancer Institute and licensed to Kite.

Dr. Roy Herbst
One independent expert, Dr. Roy Herbst, cancer medicines chief at the Yale Cancer Center, was quoted as calling the results "extraordinary" and "extremely encouraging."

He suggested, though, that follow-up studies were needed to make sure the benefit doesn't wane over a longer period of time.

New research and treatments are an integral part of "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer," a VitalityPress book I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.

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