The Food and Drug Administration first approved a type of immunotherapy called "Car T-Cell therapy" a year ago.
It was considered a huge advancement in cancer care. A woman battling lymphoma shares her story of receiving the therapy at Nebraska medicine. The Sundance, Wyoming, woman traveled 11 hours to be first in line to see the doctors.
Three weeks ago the medical team at Nebraska Medicine extracted her T-cells from her blood.
The cells are re-engineered to identify the cancer cells and kill them. Every standard treatment Donna Jones tried up to this point seemed to make the cancer stronger. But now, Donna Jones' new T-cells are in the dry ice, waiting to be thawed.
The Cuffett Cancer Center is one of a handful in the country to go from clinical trial to commercial use of the drug and Donna Jones is first up.
Drop by drop it takes 30-minutes for the gene therapy to be infused.
On this medical birthday she's already received a gift: a Hot Wheel. It's for the 'Car T' therapy. The toy also represents the hope of adding years to her life.
Donna Jones say, "It means that maybe I can see my grandson graduate walk down the aisle and my granddaughter. It means life."
Nebraska Medicine expects to treat 5 to 10 patients in the next three months with the new commercial drug. In some people the gene therapy has reduced deadly tumors to next to nothing.
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