CAR T-cell therapy treatment helps cancer patient beat near impossible odds – ABC News

A cancer patient who was given less than a two per cent chance of survival has beaten the odds thanks to a new treatment that alters patient's immune cells to recognise and fight cancer.

Troy Daley was the first person in Australia to trial CAR T-cell therapy to treat mantle cell lymphoma.

The 45-year-old's ordeal began when he discovered a lump in his groin during a shower in 2014 and went to his GP.

"The next thing I knew I was on the operating table having biopsies done and scans done," he said.

About a week later, he was diagnosed with Mantle cell lymphoma a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

When Mr Daley was initially diagnosed, his GP told him there was a 98 per cent chance he would be dead within the next six months.

"Telling the family's probably the hardest thing I've ever had to do," he said.

"I had a bit of a slack night that night and the next day I woke up and decided I was too young to fall over and got the gloves on."

Mr Daley was admitted to the Lismore Base Hospital for chemotherapy and received a stem cell transplant in Brisbane, but the treatments were not match for the aggressive cancer.

"(It) came back pretty quick, within sort of six to eight months it was a bit of a shock to everybody," he said.

Mr Daley's haematologist, Dr Dan Scott said he was put on cancer drug Ibrutinib, which worked initially, but after two-and-a-half years his condition progressed.

The next step would have been a bone marrow transplant, but despite a world-wide pool of donors no suitable match could be found.

With almost all the options exhausted, Mr Daley was registered with a clinical trial being done at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne.

"It was at a stage where we've got to have a go at something," he said.

"We're not going to sit back here and let the gods come and get me."

CAR T-cell therapy is a new form of immunotherapy that uses specially altered T-cells to directly and precisely target cancer cells.


Dr Scott said the CAR T-cell trial was used in conjunction with ibrutinib to treat Mr Daley's cancer.

"That's what's been exciting and different about Troy's case is he's had access to this therapy, which is relatively unusual in this disease," he said.

Dr Scott said the results have far exceeded expectations.

He said a recent PET CT scan showed "no evidence of lymphoma".

"We've also done a bone marrow biopsy recent where we look under a microscope and look for any evidence of residual lymphoma and there was no evidence in Troy's case," Dr Scott said.

A third test, which involves looking for traces of lymphoma beyond a microscopic level, has also come back clear.

"At this point in time the results are as good as we could have ever hoped for," Dr Scott said.

Mr Daley said the results were "10 times better" than anyone could have predicted.

"Within 28 days we've had more success than we've had in five years," he said.

"We don't exactly know what the future holds but at this stage, for what I've been through I couldn't be any better."

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CAR T-cell therapy treatment helps cancer patient beat near impossible odds - ABC News

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