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Indian-Origin Teen In UK Gets “Life-Changing” Cancer Treatment

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Indian-origin teenager in Britain receives 'life-changing' cancer treatment
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Mr Thakkar, diagnosed with a form of leukemia at the age of six.

London:

Yuvan Thakkar, a teenager of Indian descent diagnosed with cancer, says he can now enjoy the things he loves after life-changing treatment thanks to a fund set up by the UK’s state-funded National Health Service to support innovative therapies accessible to thousands of people. of patients.

According to NHS England, 16-year-old Mr Thakkar from Watford near London was the first child in Britain to benefit from a groundbreaking CAR T therapy called tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah) thanks to the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF).

It comes as the National Health Service (NHS) this weekend marks a milestone of 100,000 patients benefiting from early access to the latest and most innovative treatments using CDF. The undisclosed costs of such treatments are covered by the fund.

“My life has changed so much since I received CAR T therapy,” said Mr Thakkar, who thanked Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in London for the “incredible” care he received.

“I remember having to go to hospital so many times and not being able to go to school for long periods… They have helped me recover to a state where I can enjoy so many of the things I love to do, like playing snooker or pool , meeting friends and family and having a wonderful holiday. It is difficult to imagine what it would have been like if the treatment was not available,” he said.

Mr Thakkar, who was diagnosed with a form of leukemia at the age of six, was given a treatment that modifies a person’s immune cells to recognize and attack cancer cells.

His treatment began in 2019, when he was 11 years old, after he relapsed following other treatments such as chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. His mother Sapna said the family had been given a “second chance” at life since the success of the treatment. Without the rapid access available through the CDF, the 45-year-old said there may have been no other way for her son to receive the life-saving treatment.

“It felt like our prayers were finally answered. We are still so grateful for this opportunity that was given to us and not a single day goes by where we are not grateful for all the doctors and nurses who helped us for so long. and difficult journey,” said Sapna Thakkar.

The CDF, which opened in its current form in July 2016, is used by NHS England to provide patients with accelerated access to all new cancer treatments approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), in addition to collecting further evidence of the long-term effectiveness of promising drugs. It provides faster access to more than 100 medicines to help improve, extend or – in some cases – save their lives.

“Treating 100,000 cancer patients in England with innovative treatments through the Cancer Drugs Fund is a fantastic milestone for the healthcare system and testament to the hard work of oncologists and their teams across the country,” said Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS National director. medical director.

“This vital fund will help ensure that patients get access to the most promising medicines much sooner than would otherwise be the case, and help people with cancer like Yuvan receive a life-changing intervention that paves the way to a longer, healthier life with family and friends. friends,” he said.

The fund benefits people with common cancers, such as breast, lung, colorectal and prostate cancer, as well as people with less common cancers, such as ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, kidney cancer, skin cancer, myeloma, lymphoma and leukemia, and rare cancers, including thyroid cancer and cancer. bile ducts.

The current CDF budget of GBP 340 million is 70 percent more than the previous CDF and is used alongside NHS England’s Innovative Medicines Fund of GBP 340 million, which the health service says means a total of GBP 680 million has been earmarked for fast-track new medicines . medicines.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by WhatsNew2Day staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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