University of Wisconsin picked as a site to provide promising and expensive cancer drug

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s American Family Children’s Hospital will be one of 20 sites to offer one of the most promising and expensive new cancer drugs, one that will come with what amounts to a limited warranty.

UW took part in the clinical trial of the drug Kymriah, which just won approval as a type of gene therapy that harvests a person’s immune cells. The drug treats a rare form of cancer known as acute lymphoblastic leukemia in patients under age 25 who have relapsed or not responded to other treatment.

The one patient UW treated during the clinical trial, a young woman who had been given less than six months to live, went into remission and has remained so for nearly six months, said Christian Capitini, a pediatric cancer doctor with UW Health.

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