CAR T-cell therapy funding granted for Lymphoma

The Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) has given a positive recommendation to Kymriah a CAR T-cell therapy to treat refractory or relapsed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), follicular lymphoma (FL) including transformed, and primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL).  The treatment would cost an individual up to $500,000 but will now be funded by the government.

In more good news, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre will be one of the few places in the world to manufacture CAR T-cell therapies for the treatment of cancer.  The advantage to Australian patients is that their cells do not need to be shipped overseas for genetic engineering, reducing the turnaround time from cell extraction to treatment.