Blog | HemaCare

Medicare’s Decision to Cover Cell Therapy Treatments

Aug 13, 2019 10:07:00 AM / by Nancy Andon, MSc posted in Cancer, CAR-T, Cell Therapy

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A major breakthrough in Immunotherapy drug coverage was announced last week. Medicare will now cover high-priced blood cancer cell therapies nationwide. The news, announced by officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), comes two years after the FDA approved the first CAR-T therapy in 2017, Novartis’ Kymriah®, a treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. This long sought-after coverage decision will now ensure patients have consistent and predictable access to potentially life-saving therapies.[1]   

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Can TRuCs Beat CARs?

Jul 30, 2019 10:08:00 AM / by Nancy Andon, MSc posted in CAR-T, Immunotherapy, T Cells

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Exciting new research published in Nature Communications cites using HemaCare leukapheresis material to design primary human T cells that may be more effective at fighting cancer than CAR-T cells. [1]

The successful treatment of B cell leukemias with genetically modified T cells heralded a new frontier in cell-based medicines. CAR-T cells, or chimeric antigen receptor T cells, have become the face of cell and gene therapy, with Novartis’ first-in-class Kymriah® prompting a robust pipeline of competitive CAR-T treatments. Now a research group in Cambridge, Massachusetts is taking T cell-based immunotherapy one step further. By changing the way T cells target cancer cells, they claim to have come up with a more effective cancer immunotherapy mechanism.

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HemaCare Leukopaks Used for Production of Allogeneic CAR T cells

May 28, 2019 10:04:00 AM / by Nancy Andon, MSc posted in leukopaks, CAR-T, allogeneic

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A study out of Research Triangle Park, North Carolina [1] cites using HemaCare leukopaks as the starting material for new research on allogeneic CAR T cells.  

As most people know, the cancer fighting technique known as CAR T cell therapy has been getting a lot of attention these days, due to some remarkably positive clinical trial results. Two different versions of CAR T therapy have now earned FDA approval, so it seems that this type of therapy will inevitably be expanded to meet the needs of a considerably wider patient population. There’s a fairly large obstacle standing in the way of this expectation, however. Most clinical trials to date have been based on CAR T cell treatment as an autologous therapy, with the starting materials coming straight from the patients themselves. The problem with this autologous model is that it’s difficult to implement on a commercial scale, due to the limited availability of starting material.

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Happy New Year! The Top 10 HemaCare Blogs of 2018

Dec 28, 2018 9:51:00 AM / by Nancy Andon, MSc posted in cancer treatment, CAR-T, Immunotherapy, T Cells

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2018 has flown by, and 2019 is just around the corner! As the New Year approaches, it’s good to look back at just how much has been accomplished in the field of medicine, and wonder what the future holds. As is our tradition at this time of year, we are pleased to present HemaCare’s 10 most popular blogs of the year, and the advances in healthcare that they represent. Enjoy the countdown!

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Treating Glioblastoma with CAR-T Immunotherapy

Aug 13, 2018 10:11:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in cancer immunotherapy, CAR-T, Immunotherapy, T Cells

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There are some promising advances in treating glioblastoma and other cancers with immunotherapy.

The most frequently diagnosed type of brain cancer in adults is glioblastoma multiforme. Despite the emergence of immunotherapeutic approaches for a number of cancers, reliable treatments that can extend overall survival of patients with glioblastoma to the two-year mark and beyond are still under investigation. There are some promising advances such as an experimental dendritic cellbased vaccine that increased the median overall survival rate from 15 months to 23 months.

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