Trial cancer treatment in Wichita

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Last week we told you about a clinical trial that's taking place in Wichita at the Cancer Center of Kansas. Doctors take the blood of certain cancer patients and genetically modify it. That blood is then put it back into the patient's body.  Cells called Car-T cells then seek out and attack the cancer. Doctors want to make it clear, this treatment is only used to treat patients with a diagnosis of Diffuse large B cell lymphoma that is resistant to other treatments. 

62-year-old David Butler's appointments at the Cancer Center of Kansas are coming to an end. It's been two long years for him - in 2017, stomach pain led doctors to discover 13 tumors inside his abdomen. Butler went through months of chemotherapy, then stem cell therapy. But the cancer kept coming back.

The news could have been grim. But not for Butler. The Cancer Center of Kansas is one of just nine facilities in the nation chosen to participate in a study using the patient's own cells to fight off the disease.

It's called Car T-cell Therapy. A patient's own immune cells are harvested, then genetically modified and inserted back into the body. Those t-cells then search out and kill the cancer. And the Car T-cell Therapy can be given as outpatient treatment, with no hospital stay required.

David Butler is now cancer-free, and his doctors are hopeful the t-cells will continue to stave off the disease.

The Cancer Center of Kansas has treated two patients, and so far so good. Once the study is finished, doctors and the drug company will go to the FDA for full approval to use the therapy to treat cancer across the country.

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