Doctors are reporting “unprecedented” success with a new treatment for a growing type of blood cancer.
Every patient with multiple myeloma responded to the cell and gene therapy in two small studies evaluating its effect. The results are rare for any cancer treatment, but a first for this type of blood cancer.
The results were revealed Monday at American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in Chicago. In the first study of 35 people, all but two went into remission after two months. The second, consisting of 24 people, showed a positive responsive among patients treated with a certain dose.
Participating doctors called the study was “revolutionary” given the number of patients that responded and the impact it had.
Multiple myeloma affects blood’s plasma cells, which helps the body fight infections. According to CBS News, its the second and third fastest growing cancer for men and women respectively.
The treatment, called CAR-T therapy, involves filtering out the blood’s T-cells, which work with the immune system, in a lab and altering them to attack the cancer cells. It’s a type of advanced therapy called a “living drug,” a one-time treatment to boost the body’s ability to resist a disease.
Larger studies are planned in the U.S. and China for early next year.