Hope Restored: Woman Triumphs Over Lymphoma With CAR T Cell Therapy

She’s the first person in Andhra Pradesh to have successfully treated with indigenously built therapy

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(Image Caption: From left: Dr. G Veni Prasanna, Consultant – Pathologist, Dr. Rakesh Reddy Boya, Senior Consultant – Medical & Hemato Oncology (in middle), Ms Reddi Lalitha Kumari (Cancer winner), Dr. Ventrapati Pradeep, Consultant – Medical Oncology, along with the team at Apollo Cancer Centre, Visakhapatnam)

National– 6th April 2024: Despite being diagnosed with refractory diffuse large B-Cell lymphoma (DLBCL), 47-year-old Ms. Reddi Lalitha Kumari from Bobbili town in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh, never took a day off from work in 24 years.

However, this dedicated high school Mathematics teacher’s journey was fraught with challenges– a testament to the complexity of refractory DLBCL. Refractory disease means the patient’s disease stopped responding to all the conventional treatment options that are available. In Ms Lalitha’s case, her cancer staged a fierce comeback, defying all standard therapies.

But her will to fight against the disease and her dream to see their twin daughters settle down in their lives, motivated Ms Lalitha to undergo CAR T Cell Therapy at Apollo Cancer Centre, Visakhapatnam.

The team led by Dr. Rakesh Reddy Boya, Senior Consultant – Medical & Hemato Oncology, Dr. Ventrapati Pradeep, Consultant – Medical Oncology, and Dr. G Veni Prasanna, Consultant – Pathologist, explored advanced treatment options.

According to Dr Boya, Ms. Lalitha’s case required a different approach due to the refractory nature of the disease and CAR-T Cell Therapy emerged as a viable option, offering a chance to be “cancer free.”

Dr. Rakesh Reddy Boya, Senior Consultant – Medical & Hemato Oncology, Apollo Cancer Centre, Vizag, said, “Following Ms Lalitha’s initial response to R-CHOP therapy, her relapse posed a formidable challenge. Through strategic intervention and the integration of salvage chemotherapy, including R-ICE, we achieved a remarkable complete response. It was through meticulous analysis, collaboration, and unwavering determination that we charted a path towards her recovery. This victory reinforces our commitment to pushing the boundaries of cancer care and providing hope to those in need.”

Although the road to recovery was arduous but her unwavering determination and the relentless pursuit of excellence by the medical team, helped her to win over cancer.

Following the CAR-T Cell therapy, Ms. Lalitha’s cancer led to a complete remission. “The most incredible news was hearing from the doctors – I am cancer-free. Being a math teacher, I always believe that every problem has a solution, and, in my case, I got the right treatment at Apollo Cancer Centre,” she smiles. “This treatment has given me a second lease of life, and I’m incredibly grateful to the team at ACC for their expertise and unfaltering support.”

Dr. Ventrapati Pradeep, Consultant – Medical Oncology, Apollo Cancer Centre, Vizag, said, “Her case demanded innovative thinking and a collaborative approach. Through our collective expertise and determination, we were able to navigate the complexities of her condition and offer a novel solution. Ms Lalitha’s journey has been both challenging and inspiring.”

Dr. G Veni Prasanna, Consultant Pathologist, Apollo Cancer Centres, said, “Ms. Lalitha’s case exemplifies the critical role of pathology in unravelling the complexities of cancer. It is a privilege to contribute to her journey towards remission, ensuring precision and clarity in every step.”

This remarkable achievement stands as a beacon of hope for countless individuals battling aggressive cancers worldwide. It underscores the critical importance of cutting-edge research, innovative therapies, and the unwavering commitment of healthcare professionals.

Ms. Reddi Lalitha Kumari’s triumph of winning over cancer is more than a medical breakthrough; it is also a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. Her journey serves as a reminder that with determination, compassion, and expertise, even the most formidable adversaries can be conquered.

As ACC celebrates this monumental victory, it reaffirms their commitment towards advancement in cancer care,, offering hope to patients and their families.

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