Curing Cancer - THE LATEST PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE ISSUES BY CLR'S NATIONAL DIRECTOR
The simple definition of cancer is an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells within the body. The practical result is pain, heartache, and death. The dreaded C-word has haunted families for generations. References to it date back two millennia before the birth of Christ.
Cancer comes in a variety of forms. The American Cancer Society divides the types into 16 categories and 39 sub-categories. It is the second leading cause of death in America (heart disease is the first), claiming more than 600,000 lives annually. More than $85 billion is spent each year on cancer treatment in the United States alone.
Treatment for cancer typically involves one of three forms: surgical removal, radiation/laser treatment, or chemical treatment.
All of that changed on Wednesday, August 30, 2017, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel), a form of gene therapy, for certain pediatric and young adult patients with a form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) . This cancer afflicts about 3,000 people annually in the U.S. The approval of a new cancer treatment would normally not be viewed as that newsworthy. The approval of Kymriah, however, is different. It is gene therapy. It is a new weapon in the arsenal of fighting cancer. It essentially uses the body’s own defense mechanisms to fight the cancer from within.
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