Alex Lash writes in Xcomony that a generation ago, cancer treatments made from a patient’s own living immune cells would have been science fiction material. Today they are here. In fact, the first two products approved in 2017 and known as CAR-T, have brought some patients with bleak odds of survival back from the brink of death. In the article Mr. Lash discusses two divergent CAR-T products including 1) Gilead Sciences’ Yescarta and 2) Novartis’ Kymriah. In the case of Yescarta, Lash notes the real-world results “hew closer to the successful clinical studies than doctors typically expect.” In terms of safety results, Yescarta has performed well or as Caron Jacobson of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute of Boston was quoted “reassuring.” Overall, medical professionals have been concerned about CAR-T side effects.
As far as Kymriah, the results have not been as stellar as Yescarta. According to the article, it has not been used as much as Yescarta in the real world. Apparently, Novartis has experienced issues with manufacturing this complex product, because both products require the patient’s T cells to be extracted, genetically modified in a lab, nurtured so the cell population expands, and shipped back to the patient. Follow the link below for the entire story authored by Mr. Lash.