Hundreds of cancer patients given fresh hope as NHS signs deal for pioneering therapy 

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NHS patients with a form of cancer will have access to a ‘game-changing’ new treatment, it has been announced.

A deal between NHS England and manufacturer Gilead Sciences means up to 200 adults a year will be able to receive a type of ‘CAR-T’ therapy known as Yescarta or axicabtagene ciloleucel.

The treatment offers new hope to patients with lymphoma who have run out of other options and may have just months left to live.

A separate deal was agreed last month to make a form of CAR-T therapy avail-able to children and young people with a rare type of leukaemia.

CAR-T therapy has been called ‘one of the most promising new treatments in a generation for lymphoma and leukaemia’. It is personalised and reprogrammes immune system cells to target cancers.

Clinical trials suggest the treatment, which would normally cost nearly £300,000 per person, could potentially cure around 40 per cent of patients, according to NHS England.

Dr Alasdair Rankin, from the charity Bloodwise, said: ‘It is likely that we are only beginning to see the benefits that CAR-T therapy can bring.’

 

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