17 Jul Good News Moment: Breakthrough Pediatric Cancer Therapy
The ugly side of day-to-day of pediatric cancer is filled with uncertainty, fear, and yes, pain.
But earlier this month, these children and their families saw some hope in the form of an experimental immunotherapy agent that is now on the fast track to market approval by US regulators.
The personalized immunotherapy known as CTL019 was developed by the University of Pennsylvania and was designated a “breakthrough therapy” by the US Food and Drug Administration. The approach works by extracting a patient’s T-cells, then genetically programming them in the lab to target cancer cells that produce a protein called CD19. The altered T-cells are then re-injected into the patient’s body, where they multiply and attack cancer.
Researchers reported last year that of 27 patients, including 22 children and five adults, with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), 89 percent had a complete response to the therapy, meaning their cancer became undetectable.
TRF salutes the University of Pennsylvania and all those who assist in bringing awareness and hope to the families that will hear in the next three minutes, “Your child has cancer.” And while your there are a few childhood cancers that are seeing new cure rates, many have been overlooked and underfunded.
Our commitment is that until pediatric cancer has been eradicated, we will be there… providing children like Nicholas White and his family relief from financial anxiety.