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On Buy My Cancer, cancer cells are sold as NFTs to fund a patient's treatment

CAR-T is a cutting-edge form of immunotherapy, with trials indicating it can cure about 40% of patients with cancer resistant to other treatments. But CAR-T isn't cheap: treatment costs around USD 400,000 per patient and isn't always covered by insurance.

To raise funds for treatment, Polish nonprofit Alivia Foundation has launched Buy My Cancer, which turns actual cancer cells into NFTs that anyone can buy. The first collection will drop on 9 June 2022 and features microscopic photographs of a patient's cancer cells turned into art by Warsaw-based artist Paweł Swanski. The first patient is Jakub Burnos, a student suffering from a resistant form of aggressive lymphoma.

The plan is to keep minting and dropping NFTs to support new groups of patients. For every cycle, a medical expert nominated by the previous round's expert will select patients whose cancer cells are photographed and turned into a work of art by an artist chosen by the last collection's artist.

Buy My Cancer is the result of a collaboration between the Alivia Oncology Foundation, the Maria Sklodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology and creative agency Ogilvy.