One of the most exciting developments in the treatment of blood cancer is CAR T-cell therapy, a type of treatment that harnesses the power of the immune system, CAR T therapy involves the extraction of T cells (a type of white blood cell) from a person’s blood. The cells are engineered into cancer-fighting CAR T cells and placed back into the blood stream to find and destroy cancer cells.
CAR T-cell therapy is currently used for some types of blood cancers and in development for hundreds of other cancer types. There is evidence that CAR T therapy has cured some patients of their hard-to-treat blood cancer.
Groundbreaking treatments, such as CAR T-cell therapy, offer great hope to blood cancer patients. However, innovative treatments often come with a high price tag, and it is often difficult to provide equitable access.
Our goal is to make our decision-makers and the healthcare networks aware of the changes that must take place in order to ensure innovations in blood cancer, such as CAR T-cell therapy, is available to everyone.
Highlights of our advocacy activities
Investing in CAR T cell therapy manufacture in Canada
LLSC is partnering with BioCanRx to help Canadian scientist expand their ability to conduct clinical trials of CAR T therapy.
Until now, Canada has been without the laboratory facilities to modify these all-important CAR T cells. BioCanRx’s Canadian-led Immunotherapies in Cancer (CLIC-01) trial is unique because it is the first ever to develop and manufacture CAR T cells in Canada. Currently, if a person is to receive CAR T therapy, their T cells are sent to a lab outside of Canada for manufacturing. The trial will help to expand the ability to manufacture made-in-Canada CAR T cells and, ultimately, improve access to this life-saving treatment.