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T-cell therapy eradicates an aggressive leukemia in 2 children
Date:3/25/2013

n, is co-first author on the study.

The current study builds on Grupp's ongoing collaboration with Penn Medicine scientists who originally developed the modified T cells as a treatment for B-cell leukemias. The Penn team reported on early successful results of a trial using this cell therapy in three adult chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients in August of 2011. Two of those patients remain in remission more than 2 years following their treatment, and as the Penn researchers reported in December 2012 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, seven out of ten adult patients treated at that point responded to the therapy. The team is led by the current study's senior author, Carl H. June, M.D., the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy in the department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and director of Translational Research in Penn's Abramson Cancer Center.

"We're hopeful that our efforts to treat patients with these personalized cellular therapies will reduce or even replace the need for bone marrow transplants, which carry a high mortality risk and require long hospitalizations," June said. "In the long run, if the treatment is effective in these late-stage patients, we would like to explore using it up front, and perhaps arrive at a point where leukemia can be treated without chemotherapy."

The research team colleagues adapted the original CLL treatment to combat another B-cell leukemia: ALL, which is the most common childhood cancer. After decades of research, oncologists can currently cure 85 percent of children with ALL. Both children in the current study had a high-risk type of ALL that stubbornly resists conventional treatments.

The new study used a relatively new approach in cancer treatment: immunotherapy, which manipulates the immune system to increase its cancer-fighting capabilities. Here the researchers engineered
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Contact: Rachel Salis-Silverman
Salis@email.chop.edu
267-426-6063
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Holly Auer
holly.auer@uphs.upenn.edu
215-200-2313
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania


Source:Eurekalert

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