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Cancer patients welcome breakthrough 'living drug' that reprograms immune systems to fight d


In the UK, a number of National Health Service (NHS) patients with lymphoma at King's College Hospital have been given CAR-T, a "living drug" that is unique to each patient as it contains some of their own cells.

"It is a very exciting new development and it gives new hope to a lot of our patients," Victoria Potter, haematologist at King's College Hospital told the BBC. "It's amazing to be able to see these people, who you may have not been able to give any hope to, actually achieving remission."

Parts of a patient's immune system, the white blood cells, are taken and frozen in nitrogen before being sent to laboratories in the US where they are genetically reprogrammed to find and destroy cancer, instead of killing viruses and bacteria like they normally would. The cells then become chimeric antigen receptor T-cells, or CAR-T and are put back into the patient's bloodstream, where they grow and get to work battling cancer.

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