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New blood cancer treatment to be used on NHS for first time

The Bloodwise logo. Bloodwise appears in black text against a white background
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05 Sep 2018

Bloodwise welcomes news that CAR-T cell therapy will be available on the NHS for the first time as a “milestone in the history of cancer treatment”.

The NHS has announced that CAR-T cell therapy, a revolutionary new type of treatment that uses patients’ own cells to attack their cancer cells, could be available for some children with leukaemia within weeks if everything goes smoothly.
There has been huge excitement in the scientific community for a number of years about the potential for CAR-T to improve cancer treatment, but until now it has only be available to patients in Europe through clinical trials.
The first three NHS hospitals to go through the international accreditation process for the provision of CAR-T therapy for children are in London, Manchester and Newcastle.An infographic explaining how CAR-T cell therapy treats people with blood cancerDr Alasdair Rankin, Bloodwise Director of Research, said: “CAR-T cell therapy is the most exciting advance in treatment for childhood leukaemia for decades. Intensive chemotherapy can now cure the vast majority of children but a significant number still tragically die every year because they do not respond to treatment. CAR-T cell therapy offers the genuine chance of a long-term cure for children who otherwise would have no other hope.
“As well as being great news for the children who will benefit from this treatment in the short-term, it also represents a milestone in the history of treatment of cancer in this country. We can expect more and more CAR-T treatments to emerge over the next few years, and the possibilities for this – both for blood cancer and cancer more generally – are hugely exciting.
“We at Bloodwise are committed to playing our role in making this happen. As well as contributing to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s assessment of CAR-T treatments, we are also funding two CAR-T research projects.”

Related story: what is CAR-T therapy? An expert explains



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