Healthy Living: FDA approves gene therapy to treat Leukemia
There is some exciting news to report on the cancer front.
The FDA has announced the approval of a Leukemia treatment that is considered to be the first gene therapy cleared for the U.S. market.
The treatment, "Kymriah," is an additional option for patients who haven’t had success with first-line drugs.
It contains a patient’s own, genetically modified immune cells, reprogrammed to recognize and kill the cancer. Kymriah is aimed at treating relapses in B-call Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, the most common type of cancer among children.
The treatment costs $475,000, but drug maker Novartis says patients who don’t respond after a month won’t be charged.
The drug maker also says it will be billing mostly Medicare patients and will give price reductions to patients with private insurance.
Researchers say the approval marks a new era in cancer treatment.