October 4, 2016
(The Washington Post) – Complications can be lethal; one clinical trial was briefly halted in July after three young adults died of brain swelling. It’s also far from clear that such a personalized approach — possibly costing hundreds of thousands of dollars — is economically viable on a large scale or will produce the lasting remissions that everyone hopes to see. U.S. researchers running CAR T-cell trials for children and adults with leukemia and lymphoma have reported remission rates up to 90 percent in some cases. That’s a major achievement in a group whose cancer is emboldened by every treatment failure. But rates in other trials are considerably lower, and many patients eventually relapse.
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