‘How Do You Decide?’: Cancer Treatment’s CAR-T Crisis Has Patients Dying on a Waitlist

June 2, 2022

(STAT News) – By the fall of 2021, Patel saw only one possibility left to save Goltzene’s life — a newly approved CAR-T cell therapy for myeloma. In clinical trials, this type of personalized immunotherapy had shown remarkable efficacy in patients with stubborn myeloma, offering them months or years of healthy life that they would never have otherwise experienced. Goltzene was about to become eligible to receive it, but Patel had to warn him that being eligible wasn’t enough. They would have to make their case for something all too rare: a cell-manufacturing slot. It’s an approach that is transforming treatment of blood cancers: CAR-T therapy labs convert the immune system’s T cells into assassins of cancer cells by inserting a gene for what’s known as a chimeric antigen receptor. But the process is slow and laborious, and drugmakers simply can’t keep up. (Read More)