Recently, China’s Nanjing Legend Biotech Co. conducted a trial testing the effectiveness of an experimental therapy to treat multiple myeloma. Multiple myeloma is a rate form of blood plasma cancer. The trial proved successful, meaning it induced remission in most patients including those with advanced multiple myelmoa. The trial uses a new drug that utilizes CAR-T therapies, a relatively new medical innovation.
How It Works
The study run and developed by Nanjing Legend Biotech Co. tested a chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy thirty-five patients. Of the thirty-five nineteen were used in the trial. Of the nine-teen patients, fourteen reached complete remission after fourth months. The American Society of Clinical Oncology featured the data at their annual meeting. The drug candidate used is known as LCAR-B38M. It is designed to target a protien called BCMA, which is found on cancerous blood plasma cells. CAR-T therapies require a difficult process. It first requires the extraction of immune system T cells from the patient, then their DNA is altered to sharpen their ability to spot and kill cancer cells, lastly the altered cells are infused back into the same patient. Using this technology not only treats the cancer, it offers the possibility for long term remission. However, there were some negative side effects that came with many patients in the trial. Nearly 85% of patients temporarily developed cytokine release syndrome (CRS). CRS is a potoentially life-threatening inflammatory condition, but the condition was only temporary and easily managed using anti-inflammatory medications.
Due to the positive response experienced by so many in the small trial, China’s Nanjing Legend Biotech Co. hopes to enroll 100 new patients into the trial . They also desire to find other collaborators in the US to conduct a smilar trial in the United States starting as early as 2018. As of now, two US companies have filed for FDA approval to use CAR-T drugs designed to target different protiens. The FDA will make its decision to approve or dissapprove of these therapies by November 29,2017. If approved CAR-T therapies can be used to treat and induce remission in advanced non-Hodgkin lymphoma and B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. These advances in medical innovations are putting us one step closer to curing hundreds of diseases and illnesses plaguing millions of people around the world.
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Link to this article：Chinese Cell Therapy Effective in Small Multiple Myelome Trial
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