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  • Writer's pictureJulie Manley

Futuristic New Cancer Therapy

The FDA approved a landmark, futuristic new gene therapy-based approach to treat childhood leukemia that has produced unprecedented results.

" We're entering a new frontier in medical innovation with the ability to reprogram a patient's own cells to attach a deadly cancer" said FDA Commissioner.

"The therapy is made by harvesting patients’ white blood cells and rewiring them to home in on tumors.

“I think this is most exciting thing I’ve seen in my lifetime,” said Dr. Tim Cripe, an oncologist with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, at an FDA meeting on Kymriah in July.

Being truly revolutionary, the therapy has the price tag to justify it: the reason for the sky-high price of every treatment, unlike well-understood pills and commonly injected biotech drugs, CAR-T presents a radical new paradigm for doctors, regulators, and payers.

The price tag: $475,000 for a course of treatment.

I'm not sure what it takes for revolutionary treatments to be accepted in Canada due to our universal health care system. With this price tag, I can imagine it couldn't easily be approved however with something like this existing south of the border, ideally someday it will be accessible.

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