CAR-T cancer therapy may cause secondary cancer development, warns the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Although the above cause and effect relationship has not yet been clearly confirmed, the Agency recommended warning all people using this therapy. The FDA also emphasizes that the benefits of CAR-T still outweigh its potential side effects.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week asked all CAR-T therapy manufacturers to USA with an order to provide it with the highest level of warning about its potential to cause secondary cancers, American media reported on Wednesday. The decision was justified by reports received by the Agency of over twenty cases of rare blood cancers among patients previously using CAR-T.
Cancer therapy causes cancer
The agency notes that it has not yet clearly established a cause-and-effect relationship between the therapy and the secondary development of cancer. Its decision to issue a warning is justified only by the likelihood of its occurrence. As the FDA emphasizes, “the overall benefits of CAR-T therapies continue to outweigh the potential risks associated with their use.”
The FDA recommends that patients and people participating in CAR-T clinical trials be monitored “lifelong” for the possible development of new cancers. However, these people should not worry too much, says Dr. Joshua Brody, director of the center for the lymphoma immunotherapy program at the Tisch Cancer Institute in New York, in a comment sent to CNN. He said the risk of developing another cancer following CAR-T use “appears to be extremely low.” He adds that so far in the United States, over 27,000 people have used CAR-T, and the number of cases reported to the FDA was only twenty.
CAR-T anticancer therapy
CAR-T is an innovative therapy used to combat certain blood cancers such as leukemia, multiple myeloma and lymphoma. It involves collecting T lymphocytes from the patient and then genetically modifying them in such a way that, after being re-implanted into the patient’s body, they are able to destroy specific cancer cells. Doctors describe it as highly effective, even in difficult cases.
CAR-T therapy was first used in 2017. “It’s been a game changer for treating lymphoma and other diseases,” Dr. Matthew Frigault, clinical director of the cellular immunotherapy program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, told NBC News.
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