CAR T-cell therapy approval huge step for oncology, but only ‘beginning of story’

I found a very complete story on CAR-T at: https://www.healio.com/hematology-oncology/leukemia/news/print/hemonc-today/%7Bdaaa04db-cb55-456b-a0fc-589248452f35%7D/car-t-cell-therapy-approval-huge-step-for-oncology-but-only-beginning-of-story

William

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Global CAR T Therapy Trial Shows High Rates of Durable Remission for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

The New England Journal of Medicine published these data today [December 11, 2017]. Among 28 patients who received the therapy in the single-site pilot trial after their cancers had come back following standard treatments, 43 percent of DLBCL patients achieved complete remission, as did 71 percent of patients with follicular lymphoma, the second most common form of the disease. All patients who were in remission at six months are still in remission, after a median follow-up of 28.6 months.

Source: https://www.pennmedicine.org/news/news-releases/2017/december/global-car-t-trial-shows-durable-remission-for-non-hodgkins-lymphoma

CAR T-Cell Therapy Update From ASH 2017 | Patient Power

A good summary of the current state of CAR-T. This is an interview with Dr. David Maloney of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, conducted by medical journalist and CLL survivor Andrew Schorr, founder of the website “Patient Power”. (As it happens, a friend of ours was one of Dr. Maloney’s earliest fNHL CAR-T patients in summer of 2015.)

https://www.patientpower.info/video/car-t-cell-therapy-update-from-ash

CAR-T and Medicare

The $373k price tag for Gilead/Kite’s FDA-approved CAR-T therapy has been a controversial issue from the outset. Now, Bloomberg reporter Michelle Cortez (whom we’ve mentioned before) has contributed to two stories this week regarding some fatal(!) delays in CAR-T coverage from Medicare. As lymphoma is a disease that often afflicts older people, there are sure to be many individuals who will be over 65 and dependent on Medicare when the time comes to seek a potentially curative treatment:

Months After Approval, Breakthrough Cancer Drug Given to Just Five Patients – Bloomberg

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-14/cancer-patients-with-little-time-left-wait-for-gilead-s-new-drug

Novel Cancer Drug Gets Stymied by Medicare Rigid Billing System – Bloomberg

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-15/medicare-rigid-billing-system-leaves-gilead-cancer-drug-in-limbo

CAR T cell therapy shows long-lasting remissions in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients

The New England Journal of Medicine published these data today. Among 28 patients who received the therapy in the single-site pilot trial after their cancers had come back following standard treatments, 43 percent of DLBCL patients achieved complete remission, as did 71 percent of patients with follicular lymphoma, the second most common form of the disease. All patients who were in remission at six months are still in remission, after a median follow-up of 28.6 months.

“Taken together, our data from both trials show that most patients who are in remission at three months stay in remission,” said Schuster, who is the Robert and Margarita Louis-Dreyfus Professor in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and Lymphoma Clinical Care and Research in the Perelman School of Medicine and director of the Lymphoma Program at the Abramson Cancer Center.

Source: https://www.news-medical.net/news/20171211/CAR-T-cell-therapy-shows-long-lasting-remissions-in-non-Hodgkins-lymphoma-patients.aspx