Cancer patient from Blackwood is first in Wales to get the genetic treatment – BBC South East Wales

Cancer patient from Blackwood is first in Wales to get the genetic treatment – BBC South East Wales

John Davies had his blood cells taken on Monday

Image caption

John Davies had his blood cells taken on Monday

A patient has become the first in Wales to start on a revolutionary new genetic treatment for blood cancer.

CAR-T therapy involves genetically modifying a type of the body’s immune cells in the hope they will then recognise and destroy cancer cells.

John Davies, 71, from Blackwood, will have his blood frozen in Amsterdam, then modified in the United States before being transfused next month.

Despite chemotherapy for several years, John’s lymphoma has not been cured.

This is the first time in Wales the treatment has been offered after the go-ahead for NHS use last year.

The exact cost of the treatment is commercially sensitive but it is believed to be around a third of a million pounds.

In Wales, it is being funded by the Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee through the New Treatment Fund set up by the Welsh Government in 2017.

In England, CAR-T therapy is being funded through the cancer drugs fund.

This form of immunotherapy is a real world example of precision medicine as it has to be developed for each individual patient.

Image caption

John says: “I expect the worst and hope for the best”

Retired civil servant John found out he had non-Hodgkin lymphoma five years ago when he went for a routine check-up.

He had numerous treatments without success before CAR-T therapy became available.

“It’s not automatic – I’m unlucky to need it but I’m lucky enough to be approved by the panel,” he said.

“I’m a bit of a pioneer, I’m doing this so hopefully that it might help those coming behind me – it might not work for me so I expect the worst and hope for the best.”

What will happen to John’s blood?

Parts of the immune system – white blood cells called T-cells – were removed from John’s blood at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff on Monday.

Later that afternoon they were sent by courier to Amsterdam, and were frozen in liquid nitrogen before being flown to a laboratory in California.

There, the white blood cells will be genetically reprogrammed so that rather than killing bacteria and viruses, they will seek out and destroy cancer cells.

They are now “chimeric antigen receptor T-cells” – or CAR-T cells.

The cells will then be multiplied before being returned to Cardiff and put back into John in about a month’s time.

John will need to be carefully monitored for a period in hospital for potentially dangerous side effects after being given the modified cells.

We will be following John’s progress over the next few months.

This is a new therapy and very long-term data is still being generated, yet clinical trials have shown 40% of patients had all signs of their otherwise untreatable, terminal lymphoma eliminated from their body 15 months after treatment.

It was approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence for NHS use in 2018 for specific patients for whom other forms of treatment have been unsuccessful.

Cardiff is the ninth site in the UK to offer the treatment – one of 13 specialist centres it is hoped will eventually be able to offer it.

Around 130 patients in the UK have received CAR-T therapy so far in 2019.

Funding has to be approved on case-by-case basis and there will be an evaluation of its cost-effectiveness.

Keith Wilson, clinical director of the South Wales Blood and Marrow Transplant Programme, said: “This is personalised medicine at its best. It’s bespoke, tailored for the patient and unique for that particular patient.

“He has to donate his own cells, these are then tailored to match his own and cancer, and then when we return them to him in about a month’s time, those cells will do what the immune system normally does – fight infection. Except in this case they have been tricked into thinking the cancer is infection.”

John said he was very grateful.

“I’ve paid my tax… for 40 years but I think I’m greatly in arrears now after all the wonderful treatment.”


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  137. I work for myself Republicans are highlighting Detroit, which emerged in December from a 17-month bankruptcy, as an example of the perils of big government and a possible testing ground for conservative ideas like tax reductions.

  138. Will I get travelling expenses? She has had lots of visitors – first, her sister's son came and then the rest of her family and she has met her great grand nephews and nieces too

  139. It’s OK Helped by the spread of TV and the Internet, Afghanistan has witnessed a rapid rise in interest in sports under the government that succeeded the hardline Islamists, who had banned television and many sports and martial arts.

  140. Do you know what extension he’s on? Callahan skated from behind the net and snapped a shot past Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo from the left circle with 2:28 left on the clock.

  141. A financial advisor than South Florida because they don’t tolerate colder weather, but a hybrid might be able to thrive in a greater range than either species alone.

  142. Pleased to meet you His horses have earned more than $40 million at the races, and he’s encountered the emotional ups and downs of the sport during a short period:

  143. Sorry, I ran out of credit Kurdish and Shiite militias are fighting back, less for the sake of a unified Iraq as for their own national and sectarian goals

  144. An estate agents Under the agreement, the Government has pledged to increase its investment in providing GP services to children under the age of six to €67 million – an 81% increase on the €37 million originally identified by Government, according to the IMO.

  145. Best Site good looking Alibaba accounts for about 80 percent of all online retailsales in China, where rising Internet usage and an expandingmiddle class helped the company generate gross merchandisevolume of $296 billion in the 12 months ended June 30

  146. I quite like cooking Almost immediately, the world united around the hashtag #jesuischarlie as a symbol of that key democratic value: free speech

  147. Another year The advisory council includes eight representatives fromoutside Google, including a former German justice minister andtwo academics, as well as Google’s general counsel DavidDrummond and chairman Eric Schmidt.

  148. I like watching football “You can do almost everything online these days, but unlisted equities is one of the last areas that has been overly mystified and kept out of reach of the ordinary investor,” she says.

  149. I’d like to cancel this standing order Donald Newbury, 52, became the third member of the group known as the “Texas 7” executed for the fatal shooting of 29-year-old Aubrey Hawkins, an Irving officer who interrupted the fugitives’ robbery of a sporting goods store on Christmas Eve in 2000.

  150. Do you like it here? Mr Dutton said “false and irresponsible claims being circulated by some advocates” were undermining the work of staff at the centre

  151. I’m in a band The cops I speak with have as little enthusiasm for policing these low-level, high-friction offenses as they did in annually detaining hundreds of thousands of completely innocent men of color under the prior city administration’s now-discredited stop-question-frisk program

  152. Withdraw cash This has always been the shape of charity in relation to welfare, and it’s strange that someone so fixated on the past as Ernst would try to change that now.

  153. What do you like doing in your spare time? While it depends on the cognitive ability of the patient, offering to talk to a family member is always good practice

  154. I’d like to pay this in, please On the day Berman was killed, cops got an anonymous letter warning them there was a “cadaver” at her home

  155. How much does the job pay? The limpet shells represent the first-ever discovered use of mineralized structural components to produce optical displays

  156. I need to charge up my phone The Premier League club, 20 times English champions, claim to have 659 million followers around the globe, making the United name attractive to major brands like Chevrolet cars and sportswear group Adidas.

  157. Best Site good looking Professor Gillian Leng, of NICE, said: “We must stop the revolving door scenario where people are made ill by living in a cold home, they go into hospital for treatment, but are then discharged back to the cold home which continues to damage their health.”

  158. Where’s the nearest cash machine? But activists say much more needs to be done, including better educating youths and adding basic infrastructure, such as street lights and public bathrooms.

  159. Which team do you support? Last week, WHO estimated there could be another 20,000 cases before the Ebola outbreak is stopped, a figure Brown described as unfortunate but realistic.

  160. I’d like to change some money But Dr Vautrey warned that some of the damage had already been done, as many supposedly ‘high risk’ practices were highlighted via local media outlets as ‘failing’ or being among the worst in their area.

  161. I’d like to take the job “The people who govern us need to make decisions, even painful ones, that bring us to growth,” Giorgio Squinzi, the head of employers’ confederation Confindustria, said at a conference in the seaside town of Rimini.

  162. I don’t like pubs Telecompaper is a well respected, independent research and publishing company focussed on the telecommunications industry.

  163. Jonny was here Greece condemned the “unprovoked and cowardly” attack thatkilled one Greek and one Romanian crew member and wounded twoothers and said it had contacted the U.N

  164. I’d like to speak to someone about a mortgage And as I suggested originally worth a few brownie points in the never ending search for new customers.

  165. I’m at Liverpool University Coats, 35, was paralyzed in a car crash as a teenager and has been a medical marijuana patient since 2009, when he discovered that pot helped calm violent muscle spasms

  166. Special Delivery On her third day at a new school, Miranda Larkin had to go to class in red sweatpants and a hideous, oversized neon yellow T-shirt with “DRESS CODE VIOLATION” emblazoned across the chest and down the leg — an ensemble no high-school kid would voluntarily be caught dead in

  167. Could I make an appointment to see ? iPhone 5, 5s and 5c can use Apple Pay in retail stores only when they have their iPhone paired with an Apple Watch

  168. I have my own business Boko Haram is holding a large swath of northeast Nigeria and declared it is recreating an ancient Islamic caliphate that included parts of Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

  169. I’m sorry, she’s And while it harms individual children the most, it also tears at the fabric of society – undermining stability and progress

  170. I’m at Liverpool University Ukraine’s crisis began when its Moscow-supported leader backed out of an economic agreement with the European Union last year and sparked the protests that would lead to his ouster

  171. Could you give me some smaller notes? They also care for some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of the public, such as those with intellectual disabilities, older people and young people in the care of the HSE.

  172. I’ve got a very weak signal “Journalists who strayed from Hamas’s strict line and reported on rocket fire at Israel, were threatened, and in extreme cases, expelled from Gaza, but none of them ended their lives like James Foley,” Tibon said.

  173. I don’t like pubs The startling conclusion reached by Dr Watson and others is that the planets formed further away, and then migrated in to where we see them today

  174. I’ve just graduated Wang Jun, senior economist at China Centre for InternationalEconomic Exchanges, a Beijing-based think tank, believes thatthe central bank is more likely to cut the reserve requirementratio (RRR) for all of the country’s banks to encourage morelending and support growth.

  175. I support Manchester United The supermodel flaunted her incredible bikini body before enduring the dreaded challenge in a gorgeous gold and black tropical print bikini by Huit, making us put our palms together for her on-trend swimwear style.

  176. I support Manchester United People using the app have the option to complete simple surveys to establish their level of functionality and keep track of their ‘score’ over time as they exercise and improve their flexibility and strength.

  177. We’ve got a joint account Schools that may otherwise be reach schoolscan turn into toss-upsor safety schools if their programs match your interests and strengths.

  178. What do you like doing in your spare time? The owners of the Richmond, California eatery dropped the ads only a few months later, unsatisfied with the results.

  179. I’m originally from Dublin but now live in Edinburgh Luthar studies, to dismiss this hyper-education as a frivolous, albeit painful, form of conspicuous consumption, like cosmetic surgery or flashy cars

  180. Could you ask her to call me? The “news” published today must surely have been one of the first lines of enquiry after the scandal broke: the chances that no-one on the council or in the police was involved in exploiting these children would surely have seemed far too small to ignore the possibility.

  181. Why did you come to ? “The New Year is a time when many of us reflect on how we want our lives to be different, especially our health and our waistlines

  182. Which university are you at? The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation disagreed with him and said: “We consider these attacks to be xenophobic and condemn them as such

  183. I’m self-employed Creating separate rankings forMBA and non-MBA programswill allow potential students to compare themmore fairlyand more effectively.

  184. I can’t get through at the moment Thanks to oil revenues, the desert nation of seven emirates has been on an art-investing binge for three decades that has, for those with deep pockets, made it the region’s prime fine art market.

  185. I work for a publishers When left to your own devices at home, some workers feel the need to deal with mundane domestic chores, or less obliged to work as hard as they would if they felt their boss breathing down their neck.

  186. Good crew it’s cool 🙂 DAVOS, Switzerland – Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.

  187. I’ve come to collect a parcel Miller then was recalled only due to Chris Kreider’s unexpected scratch following a death in his family, but fast-forward to Wednesday night’s win in Washington — Miller sat at his locker postgame wearing the Broadway Hat, measuredly speaking about his physical and steady game, having played in 17 straight games and 39 of the last 44.

  188. I’d like to take the job Diagnosis is nothing without support, and to make a real difference in dementia care we need a revolution in what happens after a diagnosis is made.

  189. Best Site Good Work North Korea, already under international sanctions for its nuclear and missile programs, has been on a diplomatic campaign to counter charges by a U.N

  190. I never went to university Stock offerings in Brazil are having theirworst year in more than a decade in yet another sign of erodinginvestor confidence in the nation’s economy.

  191. What’s the current interest rate for personal loans? It's worth remembering, our business editor Kamal Ahmed says, that the head of the GCA was only recently given powers to fine, after the BBC's Panorama programme revealed she had applied for such powers more than a year ago.

  192. Will I have to work shifts? As an ultra-orthodox Jew he says that he believes that what has happened to her must have occurred for a good reason, “But even now I sit next to her and cry,” he says.

  193. I’ll put her on Saturday’s attacks were carried out over a four-hour window, in several locations including a fish market and a bus station, Maiduguri’s police commissioner said.

  194. Could I have a statement, please? Outgoing President Hamid Karzai refused to sign the status of forces agreements and NATO diplomats say that they will have decide on a complete withdrawal within a month unless a new president is installed by then and signs the documents.

  195. I stay at home and look after the children However, when the researchers included other risk factors, such as lifestyle, home environment and genetics, this increased risk of asthma disappeared.

  196. How do I get an outside line? In an unforgiving economy where every dollar counts, the University’s cost of attendance is the exception to the sticker-shock tuition prevalent today

  197. On another call give him a cave wall and a dab of mineral pigment and he could knock out a bison which burst with more power than any picture of a bison you’ve ever seen.

  198. I’ve got a full-time job “It would be a powerful message for the iconic center of our city and the political heart of our country to become smoke free.”

  199. I really like swimming These challenges are not only practical in terms of how we go about living our day-to-day lives, but they are also psychological as we mentally adjust from a sighted to a partially or even non-sighted world,” he said.

  200. A company car 8 of last year, school officials say it is important for parents and guardians of graduating seniors to file the FAFSA forms quickly

  201. Who would I report to? Quvenzhane Wallis, 11, who two years ago became the youngest person to win a Best Actress Oscar nomination, plays the foster kid living a hard-knock life in the multiethnic version of the Tony-winning 1977 Broadway musical that opens in U.S

  202. I’ve just started at In her final entry, she reflects on how distant Christmas feels in Sierra Leone in the wake of a government ban on any public gatherings

  203. In a meeting In contrast, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Fridaygave a nod to the concerns of some Fed officials about thesustained level of monetary policy stimulus, even as shestressed the need to move cautiously on raising rates.

  204. real beauty page If the Giants, who have lost four in a row by a combined 74 points to the Eagles, Cowboys, Colts and Seahawks, don’t show some life and get blown out again, then get swept by the Cowboys next week for the second year in a row, then it’s very hard to envision how Tom Coughlin is going to get another shot at this next year after he will have missed the playoffs five of the last six seasons.

  205. An envelope All were regularly asked about general health and diet, including their consumption of fried foods, such as fried chicken, fried fish and French fries.

  206. Is this a temporary or permanent position? Under the direction of Olivier Rousteing, the Paris-based fashion house creates intricately embroidered pieces with expert tailoring

  207. I’ve got a very weak signal The increasing pro-change sentiment has mostly benefited presidential candidate Mauricio Macri, the mayor of Buenos Aires.

  208. I need to charge up my phone What are Facebook’s plans in China?” asked the forum facilitator and Facebook employee Wei Xiaoliang, to laughter and applause from the audience.

  209. Lost credit card Many Russian companies have been hit by a downturn in theeconomy, suffering from weak oil prices and Western sanctionsover the Ukraine crisis, but exporters are enjoying the 50percent drop in the rouble since the beginning of last year.

  210. How do you do? The nonpartisan agency said the deficit for the fiscal year, which ends in September, will be $468 billion, down a tick from last year’s $483 billion mark

  211. How long are you planning to stay here? Much of the 40 million of taxpayers’ money spent on planning for the now abandoned children’s hospital at the Mater site in Dublin may have been wasted, the latest financial statements of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board have indicated.

  212. History Having hunted down Adam Scott on the final day at Royal Sydney last year to lift the Stonehaven Cup, McIlroy knows he needs to be patient and is convinced there is a low score out on the course for him.

  213. What’s the interest rate on this account? British media quoted a palacesource as saying the monarch was concerned and had asked fordaily updates on the situation.

  214. Could you transfer $1000 from my current account to my deposit account? “Physical activity lowers many heart disease risk factors, which in turn lowers the risk of developing heart failure as well as other heart diseases…Making it easier and safer to walk, bicycle or take the stairs could make a big difference

  215. Which year are you in? “The UK is ahead of its major European neighbours when it comes to broadband and we need to stay ahead as customer demands evolve,” said Mr Patterson

  216. I never went to university The app was developed in conjunction with the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) and University College Cork’s Department of Computer Science and School of Nursing and Midwifery, and was funded by the CUH Charity.

  217. What’s your number? It noted that meningitis B leads to death in around 10% of cases and to long-term side effects in a further 36% of cases.

  218. It’s OK If it’s a girl, he’ll be her biggest supporter and confident (sic) and if it’s a boy, I know they’ll be the best of friends, always getting into adventures together.”

  219. I work with computers Iain Duncan Smith’s plan for the “universal credit” benefit payment has been derailed – he insists temporarily, others say permanently – by the inability to find a computer system that is capable of implementing it.

  220. I live here Home runs? Well, maybe Jeter hit “only” 260 of them, 255 as a shortstop (which is fifth behind Ripken, A*Rod, Ernie Banks and Miguel Tejada all-time for shortstops)

  221. We went to university together “Grave, horrific human rights violations are being committed daily by ISIL and associated armed groups,” Pillay said

  222. I’ve just graduated Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari urged the world to back his country against Islamic State, which he described as a threat to the world, not just to the minority ethnic groups whose members it has killed in Iraq.

  223. I’d like to send this to ** Swedish Match AB and Skandinavisk Holding, theowners of Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG), are in talks withprivate equity firms about a possible sale of the cigar maker,two sources familiar with the matter said.

  224. A book of First Class stamps Italian post office Poste Italiane is ready to go publicthis year, its Chief Executive Francesco Caio told daily Il Sole24 Ore on Friday

  225. I’d like to cancel this standing order Some legal observers say Tsarnaev’s lawyers — facing powerful evidence against him — will probably focus their energies on the penalty phase, when they could present mitigating evidence to spare his life


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