Hon Greg Hunt MP Minister for Health today announces availability of
novel life-saving cancer treatment CAR-T therapy in Australia.
Today, Rare Cancers Australia (RCA) congratulates the Hon Greg
Hunt MP Minister for Health on the historical approval and reimbursement of Australia’s
first chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy.
The ground-breaking treatment from Novartis, Kymriah®
will offer new hope for children and young adults (up to the age of 25) with
the aggressive blood cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) that has
relapsed or is refractory to other treatments.
“This represents a critical step forward in the treatment of
children and young adults living with ALL and marks the arrival of a new
frontier that will transform the way we fight against cancer and save lives,”
said Richard Vines, Founder and Chairman of Rare Cancers Australia.
“As a one-time treatment, manufactured for each individual
patient with the ability to cure – it is set to revolutionise our approach. And
it means new hope for children and young adults who have been desperately
trying to raise funds to gain access to this breakthrough treatment overseas.”
“Time is of the essence now – and it is essential CAR-T
treatment is made available locally in Australia as quickly as possible for
patients and their families, who urgently need this life-saving treatment.”
is a state-of-the-art therapy involving the extraction of a patient’s own
T-cells, which are then genetically reengineered to recognise and destroy
cancer before being reintroduced into the body. The treatment is
estimated to cost up to $500,000 (in the US).
a positive outcome from the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC), the
treatment will be provided exclusively in public hospitals and will be funded
through the National Health Reform Agreement.
“We would also like
to acknowledge the outstanding work undertaken by Novartis in paving the way for local
approval and access to CAR-T. The revolutionary manufacturing
capabilities at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre will position Australia as a
leader in Asia Pacific and one of the few countries in the world able to
manufacture CAR-T locally,” adds Richard Vines.
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For more information
please contact Richard Vines on 0409 660 003.
Australia Ltd (RCA) is a charity whose purpose is to improve awareness, support
and treatment of Australians with rare and less common (RLC) cancers. In
Australia in 2017, an estimated 52,000 people will be diagnosed with a RLC
cancer and 25,000 will die from them, according to Cancer in Australia 2017
Australia. Tel: +61 2 4862 2768. PO Box 440, Bowral New South Wales 2576