Clinical Trial Boasts 91% Complete Remission Rate in Children with Relapsed Leukemia

(Seattle Children’s) – Seattle Children’s announced today that 20 of 22 patients treated thus far in a clinical trial using genetically reprogrammed T cells to treat relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) have achieved complete remission, confirmed by highly sensitive tests designed to detect minute amounts of cancer cells. The 20 patients who have achieved complete remission included children with very high tumor burdens as well as children who were diagnosed with ALL as infants.

“These results are extremely encouraging,” said Dr. Mike Jensen, director of Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, who presented the results this morning at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2015 in Philadelphia. “This trial is helping us understand how the therapy works, which will hopefully lead to it working for all forms of pediatric cancer.”

The trial, known as Pediatric Leukemia Adoptive Therapy-02 (PLAT-02), includes patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia who have relapsed after a bone marrow transplant, or who are unable to get into remission to proceed with a bone marrow transplant, and typically have only a 10% to 20% chance of survival with standard treatment. Using immunotherapy, which reprograms the body’s T cells to hunt down and destroy cancer cells, researchers have seen a 91% complete remission rate.


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