MUMBAI: Three months back, an eight-year-old girl’s parents were told she had only a few more weeks to live as her leukemia had relapsed. Doctors at Tata Memorial Hospital, where she was under treatment since 2020, however, offered them an option: A homegrown version of a gene therapy that had shown promise in at least 50% of the patients it was used for in the West.
Her father, a driver in a village near Igatpuri, said there was no reason to turn down the new therapy as her condition was “bad” at that time. “CAR-T saved her,” he told TOI. When the family visited ACTREC, Tata Memorial Centre’s research block in Kharghar earlier in the week, doctors told them no cancer cells could be detected in the girl’s blood. “She is eating normally for the first time in two years,” he added.
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