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HealthWatch: A New Gene Therapy For Leukemia; A Study On Carbohydrates

BOSTON (CBS) -- It is a new frontier in medicine.

A so-called "living drug" that is providing new hope for some kids with cancer.

The FDA has just approved CAR-T cell therapy that genetically engineers a patient's own blood cells to seek and destroy leukemia.

It is designed to treat children and young adults with ALL, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, that hasn't responded to conventional therapies.

Researchers found that a single infusion sent about 80% of hard-to-treat cases into remission.

The drug, developed by Novartis and the University of Pennsylvania, is the first type of gene therapy to hit the U.S. market.

It is unclear how long the effects last or whether it can be a true cure for ALL, but the drug is providing some hope for the 15% of patients with ALL who relapse and have a bleak prognosis.

The drug is custom made for each patient making it very expensive at about $475,000.


Wheat Gluten Bread Grain DL
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Eating a lot of carbs could kill you, according to a new study which found that people who eat high quantities of carbohydrates have a nearly 30% higher risk of dying than those on a low-carb diet.

The study also found that people on a high-fat diet have a 23% lower chance of dying compared to those who eat less fat.

Surprisingly, not only did unsaturated fats provide some mortality benefit, but so did saturated fats, like butter and animal fat.

This study does not mean you can now eat a ton of butter and steak without worry, but you probably don't need to feel guilty about eating some fat.

In terms of carbohydrates, the study did not distinguish between refined carbs and complex carbs, so further study is needed.

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