Gene therapy to fight a blood cancer succeeds in major study

By  | 

An experimental gene therapy that turns a patient's own blood cells into specialized cancer killers has passed a key test.

Doctors announced Tuesday that more than one-third of very sick lymphoma patients who got the one-time treatment showed no sign of disease six months later. The treatment involves filtering patients' blood to remove millions of immune system warriors called T-cells, altering them in the lab to add a gene that targets cancer, and returning them to the patient intravenously.

Kite Pharma, the California company that sponsored the 101-patient study, hopes to become the first to win U.S. approval of the treatment, called CAR-T therapy.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)