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Cell therapy shows remarkable ability to eradicate cancer in clinical study
Date:2/19/2014

o a bone marrow transplant and has been cancer-free and back at work teaching theology since 2011. Paolo Cavalli, a restaurant owner from Oxford, Connecticut, remains in complete remission eight months after receiving his personalized T cell treatment.

A History of Scientific Achievements for Cell-Based Therapies

Cell-based, targeted immunotherapy is a new approach to treating cancer that harnesses the body's own immune system to attack and kill cancerous cells. Unlike with a common virus such as the flu, our immune system does not recognize cancer cells as foreign and is therefore at a disadvantage in eradicating the disease. For more than a decade, researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering have been exploring ways to reengineer the body's own T cells to recognize and attack cancer. In 2003, they were the first to report that T cells engineered to recognize the protein CD19, which is found on B cells, could be used to treat B cell cancers in mice.

"Memorial Sloan Kettering was the first center to report successful outcomes using this CD19-targeted approach in B-ALL patients," said Renier Brentjens, MD, PhD, Director of Cellular Therapeutics at Memorial Sloan Kettering and one of the study's senior authors. "It's extremely gratifying to witness the astonishing results firsthand in my patients, having worked for more than a decade developing this technology from the ground up."

In March 2013, the same team of researchers first reported the results of five patients with advanced B-ALL who were treated with cell therapy. Remarkably, all five patients achieved complete remissions.

Results Demonstrate Potential of New Therapy

In the current study, seven of the 16 patients (44 percent) were able to successfully undergo bone marrow transplantation the standard of care and the only curative option for B-ALL patients following treatment. Three patients were ineligible due to failure to achieve a complete
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Contact: Andrea Baird
bairda@mskcc.org
212-639-3573
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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