•  The fight against cancer is becoming more robust with the development of better treatments as time passes.
  • India showed a new direction in the fight against cancer with a story of a person who used self-reliance as a mantra to beat the disease.
  • “The person was cured using the indigenous treatment method called CAR-T cell therapy.”

Cancer, a disease synonymous with death, has witnessed several victories as better treatments have emerged over time. In India, a new direction in the fight against cancer has been showcased through the story of a patient who successfully beat cancer through a self-reliant approach. The patient, a Delhi resident gastroenterologist named Dr. VK Gupta, was cured by an indigenous treatment method called CAR-T cell therapy, which genetically engineers the patient’s T cells to attack cancer cells. CAR T-cell therapy is a type of cancer immunotherapy treatment that involves genetically altering an individual’s T cells in a laboratory. T cells refers to a type of immune system cell, or white blood cell, which can be used to fight cancer.

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Recently, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) approved the commercial use of this method, and it cost Dr. Gupta 42 lakh rupees, which is only one-tenth of what it would have cost abroad (4 crore). CAR-T cell therapy is a type of immunotherapy that involves extracting T cells from the patient’s body and combining them with a special protein in the laboratory to create Car-T. The transformed T cells, when reintroduced into the patient’s body, recognize cancer cells and start attacking them.

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The central agency allowed the commercial use of this treatment in October last year. After that, the therapy successfully helped a patient fight against cancer. Presently, this treatment is available in 30 hospitals in 10 cities of India for patients above fifteen years of age who are suffering from B-cell cancer.

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