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Leukaemia Foundation supports Health Minister’s call to introduce ground breaking CAR-T Cell therapies into Australian Public Hospitals

The Leukaemia Foundation has come out in support of today’s call by Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt to fast track the revolutionary CAR T-Cell therapy into Australian hospitals.

CAR-T cell therapy involves harvesting a patient’s T-cells, a type of immune cell, and genetically engineering them to attack cancerous cells and destroy them. The cells are then reintroduced into the body’s blood stream, where they search for, and kill cancerous B-cells.

The Leukaemia Foundation recognises CAR-T Cell therapy as a potential game changer in the treatment of patients with aggressive leukaemia and lymphoma.

The Leukaemia Foundation said introducing the revolutionary therapy into Australian treatment centres had real potential to save Australian lives.

“Initial trials in this field of immunology how shown immense promise and the Leukaemia Foundation has been an advocate for this therapy since Australian trials began,” a spokesperson said.

“Immunotherapies and targeted treatments like CAR-T Cell therapy are the new face of treatment for blood cancers. Any support to fast track these treatments to enable increased access to people living with these blood cancers will change the face of blood cancer treatments in this country.”

“The Leukaemia Foundation has supported the work of some of Australia’s most promising researchers in this field through its National Research Program.”

“We now look forward to the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) playing their role in approving the therapy, which we hope to see implemented into the public health system as early as next year.”

The Leukaemia Foundation also said currently there was limited capability to undertake the genetic engineering process of harvested cells in Australian laboratories.

“Those capability and accessibility issues need to be addressed to ensure adequate measures are put in place so that hospitals can meet the demand and so that access to CAR-T Cell therapy becomes a reality to Australian blood cancer patients.”

View Greg Hunt’s interview here:

Last updated on July 15th, 2022

Developed by the Leukaemia Foundation in consultation with people living with a blood cancer, Leukaemia Foundation support staff, haematology nursing staff and/or Australian clinical haematologists. This content is provided for information purposes only and we urge you to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis, treatment and answers to your medical questions, including the suitability of a particular therapy, service, product or treatment in your circumstances. The Leukaemia Foundation shall not bear any liability for any person relying on the materials contained on this website.