Developed by ImmunoAct, IIT Bombay and Tata Memorial Hospital, the therapy has been administered to 15 patients in India. Three of them have successfully achieved cancer remission. Dr Gupta, the first commercial patient to be declared free of cancer, speaks of his experience exclusively to The Indian Express. – Reference – The Indian Express.
A year ago, if someone had told Dr (Col) V K Gupta, 64, that he would not just be declared “free of cancer cells” — despite a failed bone marrow transplant in 2022 — but would be able to get back to work in 2024, he would have brushed it off as polite optimism.
Months after India’s drug regulator approved the commercial use of CAR-T cell therapy, a pioneering treatment that genetically reprogrammes a patient’s immune system to fight cancer, Gupta, a Delhi-based gastroenterologist, became one of the first patients to access the therapy by paying Rs 42 lakh — a treatment that costs approximately Rs 3-4 crore abroad. Doctors at the Tata Memorial Hospital, where he underwent the procedure, said he is “currently free of cancer cells”, the first commercial patient to achieve that status.