In her autobiography, Marisa Acocella Marchetto details her treatment, undertaken without any medical insurance. The story appealed to Blanchett, who will also produce the TV adaptation.
The actress has not appeared on TV since her cinema career took off at the end of the 1990s thanks to the British movie Elizabeth.
Audiences will soon see her in Terrence Malick's Knight Of Cups, Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine and the next installment of The Hobbit trilogy. She is currently filming The Monuments Men directed by George Clooney. She will then start work on Cinderella, which will be directed by Kenneth Branagh.