Kymriah Cost, Effectiveness, How it Works, Treatment Centers. There’s a new way to treat cancer and it has recently gained the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Kymriah is a gene-therapy approach to cancer treatment which is pioneered by Swiss drugmaker Novartis. The drug maker is also going through the process of having the treatment approved by the European Medicines Agency and be made available in Europe.
Does it Work? Well, it wouldn’t have gained the approval of the FDA if it does not work, right? However, the Kymriah cell treatment has only been approved for the treatment of patients up to 25 years of age with B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) that is refractory or in second or later relapse. In other words, this is not meant for all cancer patients. As you may note in the Reuters report below, the drug maker is seeking to also get Kymriah approved for adult patients.
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How Much is a Kymriah Cell Treatment? According to a recent Reuters report, the Kymriah cost or price tag is $475,000. From Reuters: “Novartis has set the price for Kymriah at $475,000 for young patients with ALL, but the Basel-based company has pushed back announcing the price for adult DLBCL patients until it wins FDA approval.”
What’s the Treatment Procedure Like? The FDA media release gives us a general idea on how the Kymriah cell treatment is administered: “The patient’s T-cells are collected and sent to a manufacturing center where they are genetically modified to include a new gene that contains a specific protein (a chimeric antigen receptor or CAR) that directs the T-cells to target and kill leukemia cells that have a specific antigen (CD19) on the surface. Once the cells are modified, they are infused back into the patient to kill the cancer cells.”
Any Side Effects? Kymriah cell treatment can have serious and severe adverse reactions including fatal or life-threatening events. From the FDA media release:
Treatment with Kymriah has the potential to cause severe side effects. It carries a boxed warning for cytokine release syndrome (CRS), which is a systemic response to the activation and proliferation of CAR T-cells causing high fever and flu-like symptoms, and for neurological events. Both CRS and neurological events can be life-threatening. Other severe side effects of Kymriah include serious infections, low blood pressure (hypotension), acute kidney injury, fever, and decreased oxygen (hypoxia).
Because of these serious and life-threatening side effects, the Kymriah procedure can only be administered in treatment centers accredited by Novartis. The FDA also requires that “hospitals and their associated clinics that dispense Kymriah be specially certified. As part of that certification, staff involved in the prescribing, dispensing, or administering of Kymriah are required to be trained to recognize and manage CRS and neurological events”.
Where to Undergo Kymriah Treatment? So now you know the Kymriah cost, the side effects of the procedure, and how it is done but where do you go if you want to undergo treatment? Novartis lists the following treatment centers across the United States. Note that this list may be updated in the future.
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago*
University of Chicago Medicine*
University of Michigan Medical Center
Ann Arbor, MI
University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital*
The Children’s Mercy Hospital
Kansas City, MO
Washington University School of Medicine at St. Louis Children’s Hospital*
St. Louis, MO
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center*
UWHealth/American Family Children’s Hospital*
Johns Hopkins Children’s Center*
The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center
Dana-Farber Boston Children’s Cancer & Blood Disorders Center
Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack Meridian Health*
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York, NY
NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center
New York, NY
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia*
Abramson Cancer Center
The Children’s Hospital of Alabama
Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital
St. Petersburg, FL
Moffitt Cancer Center
Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Phoenix Children’s Hospital*
Children’s Medical Center Dallas*
Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders
Texas Children’s Hospital
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles*
Los Angeles, CA
Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford
Palo Alto, CA
Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego
San Diego, CA
UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital*
The Pediatric Cancer Immunotherapy Program: A Collaboration of the Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disease Program and Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program
San Francisco, CA
Children’s Hospital Colorado
Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU)*
Primary Children’s Hospital*
Salt Lake City, UT
Will the Kymriah cost of treatment be the same in all these centers? We honestly don’t know. If it varies, we assume the variation will be slight.
Kymriah Cost, Effectiveness, How it Works, Treatment Centers. Posted 13 November 2017.