The FDA approved a new treatment for childhood leukemia

The FDA approved a new treatment for childhood leukemia

The New York Post reports that on August 30 the Management on control over products and medicines (FDA) approved the first U.S. therapy that genetically preprogrammed own blood cells of patients to search and destroy cancer cells.

Treatment of CAR-T cells developed by pharmaceutical company Novartis and Penn University, is the first case of therapy for cancer using genetic engineering in the United States — and one of the most powerful but also the most expensive methods of treatment of leukemia and some other types of tumors.

The FDA approved a new treatment for childhood leukemia

The FDA called a breakthrough of historical.

«This is a completely new method of cancer therapy,» said Dr. Stephen Grupp from the Children’s hospital of Philadelphia, who has pioneered a method of treatment of CAR-T cells. His patient was close to death. However, after a course of treatment was remission, which lasted for 5 years.

The treatment was approved for patients aged under 25 years, who are diagnosed relapse or did not help the initial treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia b-cells.

CAR-T therapy uses genetic engineering techniques in order to not «fix» cancer cells and give a boost to T-cells that serve as sentinels of the immune system. The scientists extracted these cells from the patient’s blood and reprogrammed them to stimulate the «chimeric antigen receptors», which «attack» the cancer cells. Returning to the patient, new cells can continue to multiply to fight the disease for several months or even years.

Novartis did not disclose the price of this therapy, but it is expected that it will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In the control study involved 63 patients 83% of patients came into remission. It is unknown exactly how long does the effect: some patients relapse occurred after a few months. The others are still seeing doctors to find out how long the improvement.