Nick tried multiple treatments including chemotherapy, an immunotherapy clinical trial and even a stem cell transplant using his own cells. But the disease was not eradicated and soon returned, and it was aggressive and quick, Nick said.
“The next step was an allogeneic or donor-supplied stem cell transplant and I needed a match, but there were none in the database,” Nick said.
Nick had an idea. Years earlier, his parents told him he had been conceived via donor insemination. Through genealogy services, Nick discovered multiple half-siblings and his doctor agreed it was worth pursuing to find a match.
As he waited for a match, Nick remembered hearing a fellow patient discuss CAR T cell therapy. Nick asked his doctor to place him on a CAR T clinical trial waiting list.
As Nick prepared to enroll in a clinical trial for Breyanzi, one of two BMS CAR T cell therapies now approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), he also discovered one half-brother—who was serendipitously working as a doctor at the same hospital Nick was being treated—and was a 100 percent match for a stem cell transplant. Nick was at a fork in the road. Should he choose the stem cell transplant or take a chance on CAR T?
“I chose CAR T because it’s a new kind of treatment. You can’t advance the science until you have patients willing to take it on,” he said.