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  • Conversation: UCLA Health certified to offer immune cell modification therapy

    • February 14, 2018 11:50 AM GMT
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      UCLA Health certified to offer immune cell modification therapy

      UCLA Health has received certification to provide a therapy that genetically modifies patients’ own cells to attack cancer, the university announced Friday.
      The Food and Drug Administration approved the treatment, marketed as Yescarta, in October for patients with a type of blood cancer called large B cell lymphoma. UCLA is one of about two-dozen medical centers nationwide certified to offer the therapy.
      The treatment is a form of chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy, in which a synthetic gene is added to T cells that recognize infectious substances and mount an immune response. The added gene enables CAR T cells to recognize cancer cells.
      Joshua Sasine, a clinical instructor of medicine and director of the CAR T program, said doctors could no longer detect cancer in patients after providing a single dose of CAR T cells in clinical trials. Before CAR T cell therapy, the patients had conditions that worsened or spread despite previously receiving at least two traditional treatments, such as chemotherapy or bone marrow transplant.
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