(parkerici.org) – “Emily just celebrated her twelfth birthday!” Tom Whitehead announced, smiling.
In any other circumstance, this might be nothing out of the ordinary, except Emily is not an ordinary child. Rosy-cheeked with shiny brown hair tousled from frolicking at the beach, Emily appears vibrant and thriving. You would never guess that she was a terminal cancer patient just five years ago.
A new cancer immunotherapy called CAR-T therapy had saved her life.
Emily was the first child to receive CAR-T therapy, what was then considered a risky treatment in an early clinical trial for the therapy. After today’s FDA approval of the therapy for sale, she is an icon of the treatment’s effectiveness and promise for thousands of children with leukemia that can now access the treatment.