Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cells for Sustained Remissions in Leukemia

October 16, 2014

Ninety percent of children and adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) who had relapsed multiple times or failed to respond to standard therapies went into remission after receiving an investigational personalized cellular therapy, CTL019, developed at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The unprecedented results are published this week in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The new data, which builds on preliminary findings presented at the American Society of Hematology’s annual meeting in December 2013, include results from the first 25 children and young adults (ages 5 to 22) treated at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and first five adults (ages 26 to 60) treated at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Twenty-seven of the 30 patients in the studies achieved a complete remission after receiving an infusion of these engineered “hunter” cells, and 78 percent of the patients were alive six months after treatment.

The results of the pilot clinical trials at the Abramson Cancer Center and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia were published by a Perelman School of Medicine research team that includes faculty members Drs. Carl June, Bruce Levine and Jan Melenhorst. News coverage included the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Reuters, Bloomberg News, CBS3 and other news outlets. 
Read the Department of Communications news release.