Australians with a deadly blood cancer that has evaded current treatments could live longer if a government committee recommends funding for a game-changing, one-off cancer therapy.
Myeloma Australia is calling on the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) to recommend Federal and State and Territory funding for personalised CAR-T cell therapy, where immune cells of a patient are extracted, genetically altered to recognise cancer cells, and then infused back into the patient’s blood, where they seek out and destroy the cancer.
“Australia is on the cusp of a new era where we treat multiple myeloma with a one-off, personalised procedure to prime the immune system to recognise and kill cancer cells,” said Interim CEO of Myeloma Australia, Hayley Beer.
Ms Beer said that CAR-T cell therapy represents another chance to stay alive for hundreds of Australians with multiple myeloma who have run out of treatment options.
“CAR-T cell therapy offers hope as a new line of defence for myeloma patients who have exhausted three or more treatments. Typically, half of these patients will not be alive within a year, but with CAR-T cell therapy three-in-four are alive two years after treatment. It really is incredible.”