Precision Medicine and Gene Engineering (CAR-T Cells) on CureTalks in 2017
CureTalks discussed new frontiers in medicine and breakthrough treatments in 2017.
Precision Medicine: Identifying Targeted Cancer Treatments with Genomic Testing
Precision, or personalised, medicine has made a sea-change in cancer treatment. A pipe dream for most patients 10 years ago, it is a reality today. Precision Medicine’s keystone is the ability to identify personal gene characteristics and match them to specific treatment options. Moderated by Rick Davis, a nationally recognised patient advocate and founder of Answer Cancer Foundation, this discussion considered many questions surrounding precision medicine and targeted treatment, helping to answer:
- Genetic (germline) versus genomic (somatic) testing
- Who should get tested and for what?
- Getting tested and educating your doctor
- The pros and cons of testing
- Is gene testing affordable?
- What is an actionable mutation?
- How do actionable mutations impact treatment?
- Immunotherapy and personalized medicine
Panelists included patient advocate Mike Scott, Dr. William Burhans, Dr. Prasanth Reddy, Dr. Samuel Klempner, Dr. Sharon Stanley, and David Marshak who is a manager at Patient Advocacy at Foundation Medicine, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Dr. Carl June’s CAR-T Cell Journey and the Cancer Treatment Revolution
FDA approval of the breakthrough CAR-T cell therapy for cancer brings the first approved gene therapy treatment to the United States. It reprograms the body’s own immune system to recognise and kill cancer cells. The therapy initially called CAR-T cell immunotherapy and now named Kymriah by Novartis, is approved to treat children and young adults with a recurrent form of the blood cancer called acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Dr. Carl June of University of Pennsylvania, is one of the pioneers of CAR-T cell research and leads the team responsible for the historic FDA approval. We discussed Dr. Junes CAR-T cell journey to understand nuances of the new therapy. The discussion highlighted the opportunity that these engineered immune cells present to cancer treatment and possible use in treatment of other cancers.
Stay tuned as we bring discussions on #breakthrough treatments in the new year!