Penn Med notes success in treating Leukemia
T-Cell treatment working
Did you know …
that two leukemia patients at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman Medical Center remain in remission more than two years after receiving genetically engineered T-Cell therapy? The clinical trial participants, all of whom had advanced cancers, included 10 adult patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia treated at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) and two children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia treated at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Two of the first three patients treated with the protocol at HUP – whose cases were detailed in the New England Journal of Medicine and Science Translational Medicine in August 2011 – remain healthy and in full remissions more than two years after their treatment, with the engineered cells still circulating in their bodies. The findings reveal the first successful and sustained demonstration of the use of gene transfer therapy to turn the body’s own immune cells into weapons aimed at cancerous tumors.
“Our results show that chimeric antigen receptor modified T cells have great promise to improve the treatment of leukemia and lymphoma,” says the trial’s leader, Carl June, MD, the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy in the department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Director of Translational Research in Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center. According to Dr. June, “It is possible that in the future, this approach may reduce or replace the need for bone marrow transplantation.”
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