Every Friday, the Naked Scientist also known as Chris Smith shares the latest scientific discoveries and answers your fascinating questions.
Science story of the week: Leukemia therapy
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is one of the leading causes of childhood cancer, accounting for 25% of malignancies in this age group and is, thankfully, often curable says the Naked Scientist.
Novartis, the pharma multinational headquartered in Switzerland, has successfully sought approval for a new class of therapy that uses a patient's own blood cells to combat cancer. This week the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) gave the go ahead for patients to be treated with the Novartis agent, which is called Kymriah (or alternatively tisagenlecleucel for those fond of long names). The treatment is intended to the roughly 20% of patients with a blood cancer called acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
Novartis have pegged the cost of a course of treatment for those in whom it succeeds at nearly half a million US Dollars, which some patient groups to describe drug pricing as "fundamentally broken".— Dr Chris Smith, Naked Scientist
How can a cat eat and breathe and purr all at the same time?— Bonnie, caller
No one really knows says the Naked Scientist. He goes on to say that it is fairly easy to breath and eat at the same time.
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