F.D.A. Approves First Gene-Altering Leukemia Treatment, TPF Assists
Updated: May 31, 2018
The Food and Drug Administration approved the first-ever treatment that genetically alters a patient’s own cells to fight cancer, a milestone that is expected to transform treatment in the coming years.
The new therapy from Novartis turns a patient’s cells into a “living drug,” and trains them to recognize and attack the disease. It is part of the rapidly growing field of immunotherapy that bolsters the immune system through drugs and other therapies and has, in some cases, led to long remissions and possibly even cures.
Since Thomas would have been a perfect candidate for this new treatment, Novartis had asked the Thomas Peterpaul Foundation to speak at our nation's capitol in Washington D.C. back in July of 2017. This was a way of showing Congress a real child who would have survived had this treatment been available. You can watch Robert Peterpaul's speech here.
"Yesterday I had the extraordinary opportunity to speak at our nation's Capitol in Washington, D.C, before Congress," Robert wrote in a statement. "I would be lying if I didn't say that the mere thought of it shook my brain, twisting tinges of nerves throughout my core. However, the reason I was there gave me strength. I could put my fear aside because I was there on behalf of my family's organization, the Thomas Peterpaul Foundation, to speak about pediatric cancer, a subject that is unfortunately close to my heart. My purpose was to plead for the U.S. to support and pave the way for new advancements in the way patients are being treated, as a change must be made. I'm overjoyed to say that there have been incredible innovations in the industry that work and could result in an end to the vicious disease. Our message was well received, but only time will tell. Yesterday was a true honor and I thank everyone for their support. Together we can beat cancer."
We are so thrilled to be a part of this huge step toward finding a cure! Read more here.