A teenage boy fights for his life at the NIH
Trial of One follows Darious Gallegos who was only 12 when he was diagnosed with Stage IV Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. After years of treatment, including multiple rounds of chemotherapy, Darious was still battling the disease—and the best treatment option led to a clinical trial using CAR T-cell therapy at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The Linus production team met Darious and his father, Dustin, in February 2016, a week after the family arrived at the NIH to begin a clinical trial investigating the use of CAR T-cells to fight Lymphoma.
Along the way the film crew not only captured the science, but the human toll of the disease on the lives and the relationship between father and son. Darious sought refuge in video games where he wasn’t seen as sick and his cancer didn’t exist. In order to relate the technical biological process of fighting the disease to Darious’ love of video games, the film features a 3D animation video-game motif depicting the T-cells destroying the cancer.
A year and a half after launching production, the FDA approved the first CAR T-cell therapy for treating cancer. It is patients like Darious, who participate in clinical trials that make historic breakthroughs in healthcare like this one possible.
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CAR T-CELL THERAPY in the News
FDA Approves First Gene Therapy For Leukemia
The Food and Drug Administration announced on August 30, 2017 what the agency calls a "historic action" — the first approval of a cell-based gene therapy in the United States. The FDA approved Kymriah, which scientists refer to as a "living drug" because it involves using genetically modified immune cells from patients to attack their cancer.
FDA Approves Second CAR T-Cell Therapy
On October 18, 2017, The Food and Drug Administration approved the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy Yescarta to treat patients with certain types of large B-cell lymphomas who have relapsed or not responded to two other types of cancer treatments. It is the second CAR T-cell therapy approved in the U.S.