Narayana Health City Advances Cancer Care with Landmark CAR T-Cell Therapy Success

Narayana Health City Advances Cancer Care with Landmark CAR T-Cell Therapy Success

Bangalore, 22 May 2024– Narayana Health City, Bangalore recently held a press conference to celebrate a remarkable victory against cancer, highlighting the institution’s strides in advancing cancer care. Hamza Khan, a 42-year-old man from Bangalore, triumphed over relapsed follicular lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes, following a challenging journey that began in 2020 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, Hamza is the first patient in South India to receive the novel CAR T-Cell therapy – a breakthrough in cancer treatment.

Dr. Sharat Damodar, Senior Consultant Haematologist - Hamza Khan, a 42-year-old man from Bangalore

Initially diagnosed in 2020, Hamza’s condition required multiple rounds of chemotherapy and maintenance with rituximab. Despite these efforts, his cancer relapsed in February 2022, leaving him with few viable treatment options. Standard chemotherapy and an autologous stem cell transplant proved ineffective, and his prognosis worsened following a severe COVID-19 infection.

In September 2022, with traditional therapies failing and his disease progressing, Hamza was considered for cutting-edge immunotherapy known as CAR T-cell therapy, initiated by IMMUNEEL in Bangalore. Under the expert care of Dr. Sharat Damodar, Senior Consultant Haematologist and Head of Adult BMT at Narayana Health City, a team of doctors swiftly administered CAR T therapy in November 2022.

CAR T therapy, or Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell therapy, is a ground breaking form of immunotherapy used primarily to treat certain types of cancer, particularly blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma. The therapy involves modifying a patient’s own T-cells, a type of white blood cell that plays a central role in the immune response, to better recognize and attack cancer cells. Remarkably, Hamza experienced minimal side effects and achieved remission, crossing the significant milestone of one year post-treatment without relapse.

“CAR T-Cell therapy has revolutionized the landscape of cancer treatment, offering a lifeline to patients who have exhausted conventional options,” said Dr. Sharat Damodar. “This case exemplifies the potential of CAR T-Cell therapy to provide durable remission in relapsed lymphoma.”

Follicular lymphoma is a prevalent yet aggressive form of cancer, often proving resistant to standard therapies. The recent approval of CAR T-Cell therapy by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for commercial use represents a significant advancement, especially for patients with relapsed and refractory cancers.

Grateful for his second chance at life, Hamza Khan expressed his profound gratitude, saying, “Thanks to the expert care, I could undertake the Haj pilgrimage. I have fully recovered because of this innovative intervention and the life-saving therapy that I received.”

This groundbreaking success heralds a new era in cancer treatment, providing hope to countless patients facing relapsed cancers. Narayana Health City is at the forefront of these advancements, ensuring that world-class treatment options are accessible within India.

“We are immensely proud of the strides made in cancer treatment at Narayana Health City,” said the Hospital’s Facility Director. “Our commitment to adopting cutting-edge therapies like CAR T-Cell underscores our dedication to offering the best possible care and hope to our patients.”

Narayana Health City, Bangalore’s continuous efforts to integrate innovative treatments reflect its mission to lead the way in cancer care, offering patients not only advanced medical solutions but also renewed hope for a healthier future.

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