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Leukemia patients remain in remission more than 2 years after engineered T cell therapy
Date:12/9/2012

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In addition to initiating the death of the cancer cells, a signaling molecule built into the CAR also spurs the cell to produce cytokines that trigger other T cells to multiply -- building a bigger and bigger army until all the target cells in the tumor are destroyed.

In the patients who experienced complete remissions after treatment, the CAR T cells exhibited vigorous proliferation after infusion, with the most robust expansion activity usually occurring between 10 and 31 days after infusion. Each of these patients developed a cytokine release syndrome -- marked by fever, nausea, hypoxia and low blood pressure -- which doctors treated when needed with the anti-cytokine agent tocilizumab.

Ultimately, the modified T cell treatment eradicated large amounts of tumor in these patients.

Tests of patients with complete responses also show that normal B cells have been eliminated along with their tumors. Since these cells are important for the body's immune system to fight infection, the patients now are receiving regular gamma globulin treatments as a preventive measure. No unusual infections have been observed.


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Contact: Holly Auer
holly.auer@uphs.upenn.edu
215-200-2313
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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