Gene Therapy Could Cure Cancer with Professor Waseem Qasim

Gene Therapy Could Cure Cancer with Professor Waseem Qasim
By: Alexandra Urman
Gene Therapy Could Cure Cancer with Professor Waseem Qasim

Gene Therapy Could Cure Cancer with Professor Waseem Qasim

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Gene therapy is gaining momentum as a noteworthy adversary to cancer, and we are thrilled to be joined today by one of the pioneers of immune system-based treatments. Professor Waseem Qasim applies his craft at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, which is notorious for being the largest concentration of children’s health research in Europe. Professor Qasim explains why he pursued a career in gene therapy, how three patients and technological advancements formed the basis of his groundbreaking treatments, what he thinks about autologous and allogeneic therapies, and what he has to say about his work being linked with a cure for cancer. We learn about the rapid advancement of medical technology, how accessible this technology is to disadvantaged communities, why pricing gene therapies is a slippery slope, and the factors that could lead to a cost reduction in Prof. Qasim’s treatments. To end, our guest shares advice on how to merge foundational research and practical applications, why the health industry needs to do more in supporting foundational research, and what Prof. Qasim thinks about the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) in medicine.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Introducing today’s guest, Professor of Cell and Gene Therapy, Waseem Qasim.
  • What led Prof. Qasim to focus on developing gene therapies for genetic disorders in children.
  • The story for Leila Richards’s groundbreaking gene-edited cell therapy.
  • How technological innovations have paved the way for successful gene therapies.
  • The details behind Prof. Qasim’s second highly-publicized success story: Alyssa.
  • More about his lesser-known patient who bridged the gap between Leila and Alyssa.
  • Our guest explains the quality assurance process before cells are reentered into the body.
  • What he thinks about autologous cell therapies versus allogeneic ones.
  • Prof. Qasim reacts to his work being described as synonymous with a cure for cancer.
  • What he thinks about the radical progression of health technology and whether it will continue to advance at such blinding speed.
  • How accessible this advanced technology is and will be to disadvantaged communities.
  • Why one size does not fit all when it comes to costing and pricing gene therapies.
  • Exploring the factors that could reduce the cost of Prof. Qasim’s treatments.
  • Some advice on how to blend the worlds of foundational research and practical application.
  • The role that the health industry should be playing in supporting foundational research.
  • Our guest’s thoughts on the use of AI in new medical technologies and techniques.

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