New Orleans – In one of the biggest advances in the battle against leukemia and other blood cancers, Dr. David Porter, a University of Pennsylvania scientist led a team of university researchers, drug and biotech companies in the development of a potential game-changing therapy. Penn has patented its method and licensed it to Switzerland-based Novartis AG. The company is building a research center on the Penn campus in Philadelphia and plans a clinical trial next year that could lead to federal approval of the treatment as soon as 2016.
“It’s really exciting,” said Dr. Janis Abkowitz, blood diseases chief at the University of Washington in Seattle and president of the American Society of Hematology. “You can take a cell that belongs to a patient and engineer it to be an attack cell.”
In one study, all five adults and 19 of 22 children with acute lymphocytic leukemia, or ALL, had a complete remission, meaning no cancer could be found after treatment, although a few have relapsed since then.
- Gene Therapy Shows Promise Against Blood Cancers (scienceworldreport.com)