jm + trials   4

Novartis CAR-T immunotherapy strongly endorsed by FDA advisory panel
This is very exciting stuff, cytokine release syndrome risks notwithstanding.
The new treatment is known as CAR-T cell immunotherapy. It works by removing key immune system cells known as T cells from the patient so scientists can genetically modify them to seek out and attack only cancer cells. That's why some scientists refer to this as a "living drug."

Doctors then infuse millions of the genetically modified T cells back into the patient's body so they can try to obliterate the cancer cells and hopefully leave healthy tissue unscathed.

"It's truly a paradigm shift," said Dr. David Lebwohl, who heads the CAR-T Franchise Global Program at the drug company Novartis, which is seeking the FDA's approval for the treatment. "It represents a new hope for patients."

The drug endorsed by the advisory panel is known as CTL019 or tisagenlecleucel. It was developed to treat children and young adults ages 3 to 25 who have relapsed after undergoing standard treatment for B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, which is the most common childhood cancer in the United States.

While this blood cell cancer can be highly curable, some patients fail to respond to standard treatments; and a significant proportion of patients experience relapses that don't respond to follow-up therapies.
"There is a major unmet medical need for treatment options" for these patients, Dr. Stephen Hunger, who helped study at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, told the committee.

In the main study that the company submitted as evidence in seeking FDA approval, doctors at 25 sites in 11 countries administered the treatment to 88 patients. The patients, ages 3 to 23, had failed standard treatment or experienced relapses and failed to respond to follow-up standard treatment. CTL019 produced remissions in 83 percent of patients, the company told the committee.
car-t  immunotherapy  cancer  novartis  trials  fda  drugs  t-cells  immune-system  medicine  leukemia  ctl019 
july 2017 by jm
‘This is not the end’: Using immunotherapy to target genes gives cancer patients hope - The Washington Post
Pembrolizumab, marketed by Merck as Keytruda, is an anti-PD-1 immunotherapy drug now going through US trials, targeting malignancies with certain molecular characteristics.

Good trial results vs melanoma here: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1503093
cancer  trials  drugs  pembro  anti-pd-1  immunotherapy  merck 
may 2017 by jm
That time a priest and a nun and a guy who were on an Irish hospital board blocked cancer treatment that required contraception
Simon McGarr on Twitter: "That time a priest and a nun and a guy who were on an Irish hospital board blocked cancer treatment that required contraception. https://t.co/A7alospojJ"

This happened in 2003 in Dublin's Mater Hospital. useful the next time someone says that hospital board member ethos won't impact clinical care
cancer  treatment  contraception  prolife  trials  medicine  ethos  mater-hospital  boards  governance 
april 2017 by jm
FBI admits flaws in hair analysis over decades
Wow, this is staggering.
The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000. [....]

The review confirmed that FBI experts systematically testified to the near-certainty of “matches” of crime-scene hairs to defendants, backing their claims by citing incomplete or misleading statistics drawn from their case work. In reality, there is no accepted research on how often hair from different people may appear the same. Since 2000, the lab has used visual hair comparison to rule out someone as a possible source of hair or in combination with more accurate DNA testing. Warnings about the problem have been mounting. In 2002, the FBI reported that its own DNA testing found that examiners reported false hair matches more than 11 percent of the time.
fbi  false-positives  hair  dna  biometrics  trials  justice  experts  crime  forensics  inaccuracy  csi 
april 2015 by jm

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