Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre welcomes the news that government-subsidy of CAR T-cell therapy will expand to include Gilead’s CAR T-cell product Yescarta.

Clinicians will now have more options for treating aggressive blood cancers and at no cost to patients. Gilead’s Yescarta will be fully subsidised for eligible patients with:

  • Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma 
  • Primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma
  • Transformed follicular lymphoma
  • High grade B-cell lymphoma

Eligible patients are adults who have relapsed after initial treatment, or their cancers are no longer responding to these treatments.

Associate Professor Michael Dickinson, haematologist and Peter Mac’s disease group lead for aggressive lymphoma, said this would benefit patients and clinicians.

“CAR T-cell therapy is a potentially life-saving treatment that can produce a complete response – meaning a cancer becomes undetectable – in patients with aggressive and heavily pre-treated blood cancers,” Associate Professor Dickinson said.

“Today’s announcement adds to the treatment options for patients with these blood cancers and it is fantastic to see expanding government support for this emerging therapeutic modality.”

Gilead’s Yescarta joins Novartis’ Kymriah as CAR T-cell therapies approved for use in a range of blood cancers, and subsidised jointly via the Australian Government and the states.

CAR T-Cell therapy uses a patient’s own T-cells which are collected, modified and then re-infused as a once-off, uniquely tailored and personalised cancer treatment.

Peter Mac is a leader in the clinical use and ongoing development, via clinical trials, of CAR T-cell therapies and is home to Australia’s only onshore CAR T-cell manufacturing site.

Contacts:

For more information contact the Peter Mac Communications team on 0417 123 048.

About Peter Mac

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre is a world-leading cancer research, education and treatment centre and Australia’s only public health service solely dedicated to caring for people affected by cancer. Peter Mac is home to Cell Therapies, which is Australia’s first and only TGA-approved manufacturer of CAR T-cell therapies. See also www.celltherapies.com.au/ and www.petermac.org/car-t.