The Food and Drug Administration yesterday announced that it had approved a new drug that would be used to treat cancer. However, the drug will be used by adults only and targets those that are suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is a rare form of blood cancer. At the same time, the drug has been developed by the Kite Pharma and is being called Yescarta. The FDA further said that the drug targest people suffering from this rare type of cancer and those that have unsuccessfully tried chemotherapy two times. According to the FDA, the new treatment works the same way like gene therapy. This means that the treatment works by transforming the cells of the patient to a living drug. Once this has happened, the living drug attacks the cancer cells in the patient’s body. Scientists who developed the drug said that the technology is part of the field known as immunotherapy. For starters, this is a field that has become popular in that it uses genetic tinkering or drug tinkering to force the body of the patient to fight the disease. However, the scientists confirmed that in some cases, the treatment has resulted to long remissions.
A blood specialist working at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa known as Dr. Fredrick L. Locke says that the results of the treatment are quite remarkable. He is also the leader of the study that introduced this drug. He says that they are excited about the new drug. He further said that they are working on the assumption that there is quite a good number of people who need this therapy. According to the doctor, the reason why this treatment is going to work is because these people don’t have an option. According to the New York Times, the initial study of the drug by Yescarta is likely to consist of 3,500 Americans. However, the drug is quite expensive as it will cost a patient roughly $373,000 for the whole dose. The Times learned that the drug was initially developed by a team working with the National Cancer Institute. The team was led by a doctor known as Dr. Steven Rosenberg. However, due to the costs involved in the study, the National Cancer Institute came to an agreement with Kite Institute. The Kite institute was to pay for the research while it would, on the other hand, receive rights to commercialize the study once it materialized.