Essay: ‘Living Drug’ Gets Green Light

The FDA approves a powerful gene therapy to fight a resistant cancer.

Immunotherapy, the hottest field in cancer research, seeks to supercharge the body’s natural defenses against deadly tumors. Two different approaches are driving the buzz, and one of them got a big boost in August when the Food and Drug Administration approved a “living drug” to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in children and young adults who’ve stopped responding to chemotherapy. The product, dubbed tisagenlecleucel (pronounced tis-a-gen-LEK-loo-sell), is the f…

The full text of this article is available to Discover Magazine subscribers only.

Subscribe and get 10 issues packed with:

  • The latest news, theories and developments in the world of science
  • Compelling stories and breakthroughs in health, medicine and the mind
  • Environmental issues and their relevance to daily life
  • Cutting-edge technology and its impact on our future
Already a subscriber? Register now!

Registration is FREE and takes only a few seconds to complete. If you are already registered on, please log in.