Car T Cell: SA needs it.

I have been living with cancer on and off since 2012, namely large diffuse B cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. My first experience was in the private system but after a relapse in 2019 I was referred to Dr. Uwe Hahn and his team at the RAH. After a stem cell transplant I once more achieved remission. Things became more tricky when I again relapsed in 2022. This time I was offered Car T Cell Therapy. For anyone unfamiliar with this it is quite literally the stuff of science fiction. Cells are harvested from your body, sent to America where your cells are engineered into killer T cells that are cancer fighting machines. The cells come back home and are infused into your body where they fight your cancer. The downside was I would have to go to Melbourne for treatment. Which seemed OK in theory but let me tell you life would have been much easier if this amazing life saving treatment were done in Adelaide. There is a fabulous dedicated hard working team of doctors nurses and technicians who would love to be able to offer this treatment to all South Australians. This would be a wonderful development in cancer care for the future. Although presently only used with blood cancers there are possibilities for other cancers and chronic incurable diseases. My team in Melbourne were amazing. They have a wonderful reputation throughout the world. So why can’t we do it here? Our fantastic medical staff are totally capable and willing. 6 weeks away from home was arduous to say the least. As an experienced cancer patient I know the best place to have treatment and particularly recuperate is at home surrounded by friends and family. I came on leaps and bounds once I was home. And by the way I did achieve complete remission.
I really hope that one day Adelaide will be able to join the other major Australian cities in offering this treatment. It’s an investment in the future and a life saver for all those patients who may be too sick to travel to have their treatment out of state.

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