On Wednesday, October 18, the US Department of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) UU. Appropriate treatment for certain types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that uses the patient’s genetically modified immune cells to attack cancer.
Yescarta, is a treatment made up of Gilead Sciences, based in California. It is a form of personalized medicine called a chimeric antigen receiving T-cell therapy (CAR-T), in which some of the diseased white blood cells are removed, changed and then shot into the patient.
Yescarta was certified after a 6 month study of 101 patients with the aggressive form of diffuse large B lymphoma, cancer that affects immune cells. This cancer type affects about 30,000 Americans per year, and about 2/3 of these patients can be healed by treating cancer. Yescarta is available for the remaining 10,000 patients. In the latest study, Yescarta completely cured 36% of patients, and 82% of patients were reduced to less than half of their original size.
In August this year, the FDA approved the first version of CAR-T for childhood leukaemia
Therapy, named Kymriah (and produced by Novartis), had a much higher rate of success in clinical trials and cured 83% of patients.
CAR-T Therapies are a potential treatment for patients who have no options but are associated with serious risks. STAT reported that Yescarta in the studies leads to more than 40% of patients who developed anaemia (essential for blood iron), and other common side effects are immune systems weakened by a low number of white blood cells. He worries that CAR-T therapy can cause a serious inflammatory reaction that can be deadly without additional immunosuppressant. 2 patients in this study have also died of serious brain damage linked to the drug. Same side effects have been reported in the first FDA-certified CAR-T therapy.
Yescarta also has a high price: its own genetically modified cells dose costs $ 373,000. Kymriah is even at higher cost, $ 475,000 for treatment.
But some analysts believe these treatments are stealing at these prices. Finally, they include travel expenses to medical centres, genetic modification of patient cells, and the necessary medications on the way. Nonetheless, the high price of some patients who need such a cancer treatment drug will still have the cost of survival.