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US approves first gene therapy for cancer

MIAMI (Web Desk) The United States approved the first gene therapy in the nation on Wednesday a treatment that uses a patient’s own immune cells to fight leukemia opening a new era in the fight against cancer.The treatment is made by Novartis and is called Kymriah,(tisagenlecleucel).This type of immunotherapy,known as a CAR-T cell therapy,was known by CTL019 until now.

It was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for children and young adult patients up to age 25 with a form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).The FDA described the approval as“a historic action”that would usher “in a new approach to the treatment of cancer and other serious and life-threatening diseases,”said a statement.

Studies have shown that 83 percent of patients responded to the treatment,achieving remission within three months.The treatment is not a pill or a form of chemotherapy.It uses a patient’s own immune cells,called T-cells,along with white blood cells.These cells are removed from a patient, sent to a lab, and encoded with a viral vector,reprogrammed, and returned to the patient.

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