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FDA panel recommends leukemia gene therapy for approval

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.