New Hope for Leukemia Patients with Revolutionary T-Cell Therapy
A recent press release by Novartis, a Switzerland-based multinational drug maker, reveals that after undergoing the CTL09 therapy, around 92% of the patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) experienced complete remissions. Also, there were around 70-75% of the patients who survived a 6-month period without further therapy and had no disease comebacks.
Novartis' CTL09 therapy is a medical technology treatment that makes use of Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CARs) to reprogram patients' T cells to start fighting cancer cells that contain CD19 proteins. These reprogrammed T cells, also known as CTL09, then enter the circulatory system of the patients. There they multiply and hunt down all the CD19 cells.
Novartis has clarified that CTL09 is just an investigational therapy that is available only to patients that are participating in clinical trials and so it might never be available for commercialization. All these CTL09 findings that have been generated from clinical trials will be made public at the annual meeting of the 56th American Society of Hematology (ASH) in San Francisco.
This ASH meeting will be also present clinic results about CTL09 effectiveness in fighting against acute lymphoblastic leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and B cell non-Hodgkin lyphoma. The resaerchers involved in this research are extremely excited for the event because with this they will learn more about how CARs really work and also about the efficiency of the drug in fighting cancer.
Usman Azam, spokesperson for Novartis Pharmaceuticals, said, "Innovation in the cellular therapy field is accelerating right now. When we see the response patients have to CTL019 when they have few options left, it's incredibly inspiring. Novartis will leverage our facility in Morris Plains, the first FDA-approved Good Manufacturing Practices quality site for a cell therapy".
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