Exciting new medication for cancer that is less harsh than chemo

A novel pharmacological treatment for pediatric cancer patients is considerably less hazardous than chemotherapy. At Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, eleven-year-old Arthur is among the first patients to try it for his blood malignancy. Since the treatment was effective without making Arthur feel significantly worse, his family refers to it as “a little bit of sunshine”. Additionally, he was able to spend more time at home with his family and do the things he loves because it could be administered anywhere, not only in the hospital. He called it his “blina backpack” and carried it in a rucksack.

When Arthur’s chemotherapy failed to completely eradicate his cancer, blinatumomab, or blind, became his sole viable option. Experts seek to demonstrate that Blina, which has an existing license to treat cancer in adults, can also safely assist youngsters. It is being used off-label for children with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) in about 20 centers in the United Kingdom. The medication, an immunotherapy, locates cancer cells so that the body’s immune system can identify and eliminate them. Furthermore, unlike chemotherapy, this death search is extremely focused; no healthy cells are spared.

 

Blina is given to patients as a liquid bag via a tiny plastic tube that is inserted into a vein in their arm and left there for several months. The speed at which the medication enters the bloodstream is regulated by a battery-operated pump; a bag can last for many days. The entire equipment is completely portable because it fits into a backpack that is smaller than an A4 textbook. This meant that Arthur could occupy his time while the medication was taking effect by doing other activities, including playing on the swings in his neighborhood park. Additionally, it did not render him too weak to enjoy life, in contrast to his intense chemotherapy, which had stopped functioning nevertheless.

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