Following a price deal between the NHS and Swiss drugs firm Novartis in September 2018, the drug Kymriah has now been made available for CAR-T Cell treatment of relapsed or refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in paediatric and young adult patients. This offers hope for children who have exhausted all other treatment options.
Paediatric units at hospitals in London, Manchester and Newcastle on Tyne have now joined US and European hospitals in offering this expensive innovative immunotherapy treatment following successful clinical trials with paediatric and young adult patients up to 25 years of age where other treatments had failed.
The complex and expensive Kymriah therapy was first trialled in USA under the sponsorship of the University of Pennsylvania in 2014. A multinational phase 2 clinical Trial in hospitals across USA, Canada, Europe, Australia and Japan continues.
The therapy involves extraction of infection-fighting cells from the patient. These cells are then genetically engineered in the laboratory to recognize cancer cells and infused back to reprogram the body’s own immune cells to attack and kill malignant cancer cells.
Immunotherapy is being clinically trialled for a number of cancers where patient’s the malignant tumours have not responded to other treatments.
Successful cancer treatment with immunotherapy
Immunotherapy drugs double survival rates in relapsed or refractory Leukaemia patients, Phase 2 Trial shows
UK deal makes Novartis cancer cell therapy available to kids.
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia; diagnosis, treatment, complications.