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relates to China’s Curing Cancer Faster and Cheaper Than Anywhere Else
Illustration: Jordan Speer
Business
Prognosis

China’s Curing Cancer Faster and Cheaper Than Anywhere Else

Looser rules are being considered for experimental therapies.

Zhang Haitao was a basketball-loving teenager who dreamed of going to a specialized sports high school when he got a pain in his right arm that just wouldn’t go away. It turned out to be acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

The discovery set Zhang and his family, from a village deep in the mountains of southwestern China's Sichuan province, on a journey familiar to most cancer patients — a revolving door of hospital visits, blood tests and three rounds of chemotherapy. It was then that Zhang’s doctor suggested a last-ditch option: an experimental gene therapy being trialed by a Chinese startup called Gracell Biotechnology Ltd.