What is T-Cell Therapy?
T-Cell Therapy is a new treatment for some types of childhood cancer developed by researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the University of Pennsylvania. It is a type of Immunotherapy that uses our bodies’ own immune cells to kill cancer cells without the harsh effects of chemotherapy and radiation. The treatment process usually involves three steps:
- T-cells (a type of white blood cell) are removed from the patient’s blood.
- In the laboratory, the T-cells are genetically engineered or “trained” to recognize and kill cancer cells.
- These modified T-cells are infused back into the patient where they multiply rapidly, seek out, and destroy cancer cells.
Early results from clinical trials have been extremely promising with 93% of pediatric patients with relapsed/refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) achieving remission (1).
(1) Grupp SA, Maude SL, Shaw PA, et al. Durable Remissions in Children with Relapsed/Refractory ALL Treated with T Cells Engineered with a CD19-Targeted Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CTL019). Presented at: 57th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting; Orlando, Florida; December 5-8, 2015. Abstract 681.