Reports confirm that a revolutionary therapy, known as CAR-T, which treats aggressive blood cancers has been approved for use in Australia. Apparently, this immunotherapy would assist adults in battling a type of aggressive lymphoma and children in fighting leukemia.
The therapy has secured an approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), with Australia following European countries and United States to approve the therapy. Ensuring the affordability of this therapy for eligible patients would allegedly be the next step.
Further from the reports, Swiss based pharmaceutical firm Novartis International AG owns the therapy commercially, which is known as Kymriah, and is committed towards making this happen as soon as possible by working with the federal government.
Lauren Carey, General Manager of Oncology for Novartis International AG, said in a statement that Kymriah’s approval by the TGA is a defining moment for patients in Australia that have these aggressive blood cancers. She commented that the company is entering a transformative stage in cancer care.
Health Minister of Australia, Greg Hunt, mentioned that the government would work for making this therapy available in hospitals as soon as possible as it has now been approved for use. CAR-T is an innovation which deserves a Nobel prize, he believes.
Mr. Hunt further said that now there is the potential of curing cancers like lymphoma and leukemia, instead of just treatment for cancer. The government is working to make sure that it is funded for treatment.
Sources familiar with the matter said that this innovative therapy utilizes a patient’s own immune cells for fighting cancer in a once-only treatment, which is in contrast to radiotherapy and chemotherapy where multiple rounds are usually required.
For the record, two clinical trials have been conducted by Novartis, among which 80 percent of children showed no signs of cancer three months after the treatment and around 45 percent of the adults also experienced positive result on similar lines.