Two weeks ago I lay in a hospital bed at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine and watched a clear, garlicky-smelling bag of my re-engineered white blood cells drip into my veins.
The bag contained not only my collected T cells but also magic sauce from Novartis, the drug company financing a trial of a gene therapy for my specific mutation of multiple myeloma, a blood cancer.
This “living drug,” a CAR-T treatment, may revitalize my immune system and erase my myeloma tumors and save my life. It could also kill me.
Last month, the Federal Drug Administration