It can only be good for all cancer patients and healthcare in general. It will match the rapid development, precision and growth in diagnostic technologies, which often have left the impression of a cancer disease epidemic or explosion.
NHS England made history on Wednesday 5 September, 2018, when it became the first national healthcare provider around the world to approve the treatment of children and young people with CAR – T (chimeric antigen receptor T-cell) therapy only ten days after European marketing authorisation was granted to Norvatis, the manufacturer of Kymriah, which represents the first in this type of collaboration with the NHS. Who says that mighty buses cannot move fast? – with the will and vision.
What is CAR – T therapy? It is specifically developed for individual patient by reprogramming or re-engineering the patient’s own immune system cells and using them to target and fight their cancer, ultimately destroying the cancer cells. A full recovery or cure is the outcome of a successful personalised medical therapy (PMT). No ongoing costs at the end. Successes were seen in trials even in advanced cancer patients where other treatments failed.
For the future, NHS England see PMT as an important part of available treatment options. Individual cost is high due to lack of mass production, skills required, non-off the shelf and significant investment. All factors considered in other treatment choices, PMT promises to work out more cost effective, efficient, complete and ‘patient friendly’.
Though these are early days, this type of treatment is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years particularly when encouraged by collaboration between public organisations and pharma companies, such as the present one between the NHS England and Norvatis. PMT definitely is a win / win for patients, healthcare providers, government, the tax payer and pharma companies.