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.