HEALTH: 18 patients in complete remission in Spain after experimental cancer treatment.

An exper­i­men­tal treat­ment has raised hope for can­cer patients, as 18 peo­ple have been put into com­plete remis­sion from the therapy.

The tri­al was car­ried out at the Barcelona Clin­i­cal Hos­pi­tal on patients with mul­ti­ple myelo­ma, which is the sec­ond most com­mon type of blood cancer.

The treat­ment is also less expen­sive than com­mer­cial­ly avail­able products.

ARI-0002h, the ther­a­py, has been test­ed in 30 patients, 18 of whom are now in com­plete remis­sion and show no signs of dis­ease, rep­re­sent­ing a 60 per­cent remis­sion rate.

Some of the patients had already tried all avail­able treat­ments, includ­ing chemother­a­py and a bone mar­row transplant.

Mul­ti­ple myelo­ma is an incur­able can­cer found in the bone mar­row, caus­ing abnor­mal growth of plas­ma cells.

It has a five-year sur­vival rate of about 50 percent.

The new ther­a­py draws patients’ blood, selects their T cells, a type of white blood cell, and redesigns them using genet­ic engi­neer­ing to make them bet­ter able to iden­ti­fy can­cer cells.

Com­plete remis­sion is not the same as cur­ing the dis­ease, but it does mean that all signs of the dis­ease are gone and it is linked to a bet­ter chance of sur­viv­ing the incur­able disease.

“The results of the tri­al, in which 30 patients who were resis­tant to treat­ment par­tic­i­pat­ed, show that at 12 months, 75% main­tain the response and that they do not have dis­ease pro­gres­sion, and that 60% have a remis­sion. com­plete, ”said Dr Car­los Fer­nán­dez de Larrea.

ARI-0002h is part of the same gen­er­a­tion of treat­ments that are being con­sid­ered to treat many tumors and can­cers, includ­ing lym­phomas and leukemia.

The Clin­ique Hos­pi­tal­ière team pre­vi­ous­ly worked on ARI-0001 to treat leukemia, which became the first Euro­pean treat­ment of its kind to be autho­rized by a reg­u­la­to­ry agency.

The ARI project is named after Ari­ana Benedé, an 18-year-old with acute lym­phoblas­tic leukemia whose case helped strength­en research before her death in 2016.

Accord­ing to the clin­ic, all of the patients who used the treat­ment showed improve­ment after respond­ing poor­ly to reg­u­lar treatment.

There was also no evi­dence of neu­ro­tox­i­c­i­ty which is a major con­cern with this type of treat­ment and adverse immune effects have been report­ed to be mild.

Hema­to­log­ic tumor research chief Joaquin Mar­tinez said the results showed great potential.

“The results are sim­i­lar to oth­er CAR‑T [treat­ments] against mul­ti­ple myelo­ma devel­oped by the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal indus­try, except that it is an aca­d­e­m­ic and local devel­op­ment of quite expen­sive and very com­plex ther­a­pies” , said Martínez.

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