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‘We are so grateful’: Indian-origin teenager first to receive life-changing cancer treatment in UK


NEW DELHI: Yuvan Thakkara 16-year-old of Indian origin has become the first child in the UK to undergo CAR-T therapyalso known as tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah).
“My life has changed so much since I received CAR T therapy,” Thakkar said. He also thanked Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in London for the “incredible” care he received.
“I remember having to make so many trips to the hospital and being away from school for long periods of time… They helped me get back to a state where I can enjoy so much things I love to do, like playing snooker or pool, meeting friends and family, and having wonderful vacations. It’s hard to imagine what things would have been like if treatment hadn’t been available ” added Thakkar.
Thakkar, diagnosed with leukemia at the age of six, underwent treatment that modifies immune cells to target cancer cells, after relapsing despite previous chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. His mother, Sapna, describes the treatment as a “second chance” at life, expressing gratitude to the medical teams and the NHS.
“It felt like our prayers had finally been answered. We are always so grateful for the chance we were given and not a day goes by that we are not grateful to all the doctors and nurses who helped us to go through this long and difficult journey,” said Sapna Thakkar.
This treatment was provided through the UK system National Health Serviceof the Cancer Drug Fund (CDF).
The CDF, established in 2016, accelerates access to new cancer treatments approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), benefiting patients with various types of cancer.
“Treating 100,000 cancer patients in England with innovative treatments through the Cancer Drugs Fund is a fantastic milestone for the health service and is testament to the hard work of oncologists and their teams across the country,” he said. said Professor Sir Stephen Powis, National Director of the NHS. medical director.
(With contribution from agencies)


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