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New leukaemia treatment for children

The NHS will be able to offer children a new cancer therapy labelled the “most exciting treatment advance for decades”.

CAR-T is for aggressive leukaemia and can be used when other drugs have failed. It typically costs hundreds of thousands of pounds per patient.

NHS England boss Simon Stevens says a fair and affordable price has been reached with manufacturer Novartis.

Hospitals could start giving it to a small number of children within weeks. The first three NHS hospitals to apply to use the CAR-T (which stands for “chimeric antigen receptor T-cell”) therapy are in London, Manchester and Newcastle.

The CAR-T treatment from Novartis has a list price of £282,000 per patient, though the actual figure NHS England will pay for it has not been disclosed.

The funding will come from the Cancer Drugs Fund, which aims to fast-track access to the most promising new cancer treatments.


Image credit | Science Photo Library 

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