ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A new type of gene therapy to treat leukemia and lymphoma awaits full FDA approval.
It’s called CAR-T cell treatment, which uses the body’s own immune system to attack cancer. SLU Care’s Dr. Mark Sesler is director of the bone marrow transplant program at SSM Health SLU Hospital.
“It’s very exciting, the harnessig the immune system to treat cancer is something that’s been in development for quite some time and I would say this new technology, CAR-T cell immunotherapy is the most promising advances we’ve seen in some time,” he says.
The therapy is very expensive. It involves removing white blood cells from the patient’s bloodstream and sending them to a facility where they are genetically modified and then placed back into the body to produce remission of the cancer. Last week, an FDA panel approved the treatment. It now awaits full FDA approval.