Deaths in Immune-Therapy Trials Haunt Promising New Cancer Treatment
December 2, 2016
(MIT Technology Review) – The deaths last month of two patients in a clinical trial testing a promising new type of cancer treatment are raising questions about the fate of therapies that use a patient’s own immune cells to fight off the disease. Juno Therapeutics, the Seattle company conducting the trial, announced it was halting its human tests of an experimental cancer therapy just before Thanksgiving after two patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia died. Earlier this year, three patients died in the same clinical trial. But other investigators developing similar products are forging on with testing the new class of therapies, which have shown incredible promise for some patients with lethal cancers.