In an unprecedented achievement, the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) saw a 90 percent success rate for its innovative experimental treatment for bone marrow cancer multiple myeloma.
This treatment uses genetic engineering technology called CAR-T, or chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy, which boosts the patient’s immune system to destroy cancer.
Multiple myeloma has long been considered incurable, with an average life expectancy for patients after diagnosis of only two years. “Now, in light of the impressive results of CAR-T treatments, it seems that they have many more years to live — and with an excellent quality of life,” says Prof. Polina Stepensky, head of HMO’s Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cancer Immunotherapy for Adults and Children, in an article in The Jerusalem Post.
More than 90 percent of the 74 patients treated at Hadassah went into complete remission.
The treatment was developed and produced by Hadassah in collaboration with Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan.
“As the first and only institution in Israel that develops, manufactures, and delivers CAR-T treatment, Hadassah is actually leading the field that will enable the development of future treatments with CAR T-cells for the benefit of patients with other types of cancer,” Stepensky says.