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T cell immunotherapy: Promising results in children and adults with leukemia
Date:12/7/2013

pted the CLL treatment for use against a high-risk form of ALL. The most common childhood cancer and the most common childhood leukemia, ALL may also occur in adults, such as the five adult patients in the current trial.

"Although most adults with ALL respond to drug treatment, as many as half of them eventually relapse, putting the overall cure rate for the disease only around 40 percent," said David L. Porter, M.D., a professor of Medicine and director of Blood and Marrow Transplantation in Penn's Abramson Cancer Center, who leads the adult CLL and ALL trials along with Noelle Frey, M.D., an assistant professor of Medicine. "Once a patient relapses, treatments are often ineffective. Many of these patients are not even eligible for bone marrow transplants, so this approach stands to give them an option where they would otherwise have had none."

As the CTL019 cells potently attacked leukemia cells, they also stimulated an unwanted, toxic immune response called cytokine release syndrome. The care team successfully counteracted these side effects with two immunomodulating drugs. In addition, because the CTL019 therapy eliminates healthy B cells along with cancerous B cells, patients must receive infusions of immunoglobin to perform the immune function provided by normal B cells.

"The results from the ALL and CLL trials also demonstrate that these engineered hunter cells greatly expand in patients, producing very high complete response rates, and then persist in patients, potentially allowing for long-term disease control. We are looking forward to testing these cells in upcoming multicenter pediatric and adult trials," said Grupp.


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Contact: Rachel Salis-Silverman
Salis@email.chop.edu
267-970-3685
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Source:Eurekalert  

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