The story features a patient narrative to illustrate a new cancer treatment that’s been getting a lot of press. The treatment, CAR T-cell therapy, takes immune cells from patients, genetically arms them with better search-and-destroy weaponry, and puts them back into the patient to attack circulating cancer cells.CAR T-cell therapy is still experimental, although last month an FDA advisory panel recommended approval — a first for a gene therapy product. A number of news outlets covered that news.
TIME gives the story an in-depth look, digging a little deeper to see how this new and different treatment option affects the lives of real people. The story is heart-wrenching — it’s a 7-year-old child with a common cancer that unfortunately did not respond to traditional chemotherapy. It’s also heart-warming — all signs suggest this kid’s cancer has gone into remission. So,what’s wrong with this?