FDA Approves First CAR-T Cell Therapy

Johann Groder/APA Picturedesk via ZUMA

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Progress:

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved the first-ever treatment that genetically alters a patient’s own cells to fight cancer, a milestone that is expected to transform treatment in the coming years….The therapy, marketed as Kymriah and made by Novartis, was approved for children and young adults for an aggressive type of leukemia — B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia….The treatment was originally developed by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and licensed to Novartis. It was identified in previous reports as CAR-T cell therapy, CTL019 or tisagenlecleucel.

Hooray! Let’s do multiple myeloma next! This therapy costs half a million bucks or so, but as long as someone else is paying for it I figure I’m worth it.

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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