Winfried Rothermel / AP

An FDA panel has recommended that a revolutionary gene therapy treatment — CTL109 from Novartis and the University of Pennsylvania — be approved to fight a rare form of childhood leukemia, which would make it the first gene therapy treatment to reach the market, per the NYT.

Why it matters: It's a potentially game-changing step for cancer treatment. The traditional use of chemotherapy, essentially strong poison sent directly into the bloodstream, might become a thing of the past should gene therapy be proven effective.

  • How it works: Millions of a patient's T-cells are removed and reengineered using a disabled form of HIV to become equipped to attack and destroy B-cells, which are a normal part of the immune system but become malignant when a patient has leukemia. The new T-cells are reintroduced to the patient's bloodstream where they become cancer "serial killers."
  • The limitations: The time needed to reengineer the cells has been knocked down to 22 days from 4 months, but the treatment can only be performed at 30 to 35 approved medical centers. Plus, the initial side effects can be extremely harsh — with severe reactions — and longer-term side effects might still pop up.

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Updated 47 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 p.m. ET: 31,201,975 — Total deaths: 963,068— Total recoveries: 21,356,412Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 p.m. ET: 6,833,931 — Total deaths: 199,815 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: U.K. upgrades COVID alert level as Europe sees worrying rise in infections — "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

Louisville police declare state of emergency as Breonna Taylor decision looms

A demonstrator holds up a sign of Breonna Taylor during a protest in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The Louisville police chief declared in a memo obtained by news outlets a "state of emergency" for the department on Monday to prepare for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's expected announcement on the Breonna Taylor case.

Of note: Louisville has witnessed more than 115 days of protests over the police killing of Taylor, an unarmed Black woman, with calls for all the officers involved to be charged.

Sen. Cory Gardner on vacant Supreme Court seat: "I will vote to confirm"

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) will vote to confirm President Trump's nominee to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he announced in a statement Monday.

Why it matters: The development is a win for President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). It should mean Republicans are all but assured to have enough support to hold hearings for Trump's potential nominee.

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