Aaron Levine, professor in the School of Public Policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology, wrote the STAT, November 8, article, “Revolutionary New Cancer Therapies Come with Big Risks. Drug Makers Must Be Prepared.” The School of Public Policy is part of the Georgia Tech Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.
Personalized cell therapy may have come of age with the recent approvals of two novel drugs, Kymriah and Yescarta, that genetically manipulate patient’s own immune cells to fight their cancers. Yet pharmaceutical companies face many challenges, including several key ethical and social issues, if they are to make these new therapies a success. These new drugs, the first in the new family of CAR-T-cell therapies, could revolutionize the treatment of blood cancers and make inroads into the treatment of solid tumors. They work by isolating immune cells known as T-cells from a patient’s blood, genetically engineering these cells to produce receptors that recognize specific tumor cells, growing many millions of copies of these cells in a lab, then infusing them back into the patient. If all goes well, the engineered cells recognize and kill the patient’s tumor cells. Author Aaron D. Levine is an associate professor in the Georgia Tech School of Public Policy whose work has focused on the role of policy and ethics in the translation of emerging biomedical technologies.
For the full article, visit the STAT webpage.