Aug 31, 2017

First cancer 'living drug' gets go-ahead

The US has approved the first treatment to redesign a patient's own immune system so it attacks cancer.

The regulator - the US Food and Drug Administration - said its decision was a "historic" moment and medicine was now "entering a new frontier".

The company Novartis is charging $475,000 (£367,000) for the "living drug" therapy, which leaves 83% of people free of a type of blood cancer.

Doctors in the UK said the announcement was an exciting step forward.

The living drug is tailor-made to each patient, unlike conventional therapies such as surgery or chemotherapy.

It is called CAR-T and is made by extracting white blood cells from the patient's blood.

The cells are then genetically reprogrammed to seek out and kill cancer.

The cancer-killers are then put back inside the patient and once they find their target they multiply.

(BBC News)

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