Be still, and know that I am God. - Psalm 46:10


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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