Sunday, July 16, 2017

Gene-Altering Leukemia Treatment, F.D.A Recommended for Approval


A F.D.A panel has recently recommended a new gene therapy that allows a cancer patient's own cells to fight their illness. Novartis may be the first company to have a cancer gene therapy reach market. Their treatment is for leukemia and is created separately for each individual patient. The FDA has recommended it for B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia that has resisted treatment or relapsed in patients, 3 to 25 years of age. The first child ever given the treatment Emily Whitehead, is now cancer free after the treatment, despite suffering through the severe side effects of fever and lung congestion. Emily and her family were seen at the panel in order to advocate for the treatments approval. Another study was presented to the F.D.A panel as evidence, where 82.5% of the patients went into remission, showcasing the treatment effectiveness. However, the panel voiced concerns with the possible secondary side effects of the treatment and quality control as the number of treatments increases. The evidence in support of this treatment looks promising and I hope this moves towards advancements in treating other types of cancer. This article shows the continuing progress that science is making towards treating grave illnesses.

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