Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Immunotherapy showed promising antileukemia activity in pediatric patients

Date:
April 7, 2013
Source:
American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)
Summary:
Researchers using patients' own immune cells in an immunotherapy approach called "anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy," achieved responses in children whose acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) had returned after a bone marrow transplant, according to preliminary results.

Researchers using patients' own immune cells in an immunotherapy approach called "anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy," achieved responses in children whose acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) had returned after a bone marrow transplant, according to preliminary results presented at the AACR Annual Meeting 2013, held in Washington, D.C., April 6-10.

Related Articles


"Anti-CD19 CAR T-cell therapy using patients' own immune cells is a completely new way of treating childhood cancer," said Daniel W. Lee, M.D., assistant clinical investigator in the Pediatric Oncology Branch of the National Cancer Institute. "It is not chemotherapy; therefore, it has a different side effect profile -- we hope better tolerated. In the limited number of post-transplant patients we have treated so far, we're getting acceptable toxicities, and we're not seeing graft-versus-host disease."

More than 95 percent of children initially diagnosed with ALL achieve remission, but a significant number of them relapse, according to Lee. Once they relapse, the prognosis is poor, with ALL accounting for the most deaths from cancer among children.

Other research teams are testing anti-CD19 CAR T-cell therapy in children with ALL that has returned after a bone marrow transplant, according to Lee. However, whether they are using immune cells from the transplant donor, or collecting and preparing the patient's cells, the process is lengthy.

"Often these children with relapsed ALL don't have that kind of time to wait," Lee said. "We wanted something that could be done in a more timely manner. We decided to collect the immune cells, which are called T cells, directly from the patients, even though they'd had bone marrow transplants."

The first three patients in the phase I trial had undergone a previous bone marrow transplant, although the trial is also open to patients who have never had a transplant. One patient had B-cell lymphoma and the other two had ALL.

The researchers collected T cells from the patients and modified them in the laboratory so that they would attach to a protein expressed by the leukemia cells, called CD19, and attack the cancers. The number of modified T cells, now called anti-CD19 CAR T cells, was expanded in the laboratory before they were returned to the patients.

The results so far indicate that this approach is a feasible and active treatment for pediatric patients with ALL, even those who relapse after a bone marrow transplant, according to Lee. One patient had a complete response and a second had a transient complete response, with minimal residual disease remaining. The lone lymphoma patient did not respond.

Cell expansion was robust. "We were able to get very good expansion -- on average about 60-fold expansion of these cells during the 11-day culture period," Lee said. "And we were able to insert the receptor, the anti-CD19 CAR, into those T cells with good efficiency."

One patient did not produce a sufficient number of cells, which was likely related to recent intensive chemotherapy and resultant low T-cell count, according to Lee. Despite this, the few cells the patient did receive expanded dramatically and the patient temporarily achieved remission.

Lee and colleagues continue to test this approach in patients whose disease has returned after, or is refractory to, standard treatments whether or not they have had a bone marrow transplant.

"We think that the children who have never had a transplant might experience different toxicities," said Lee. "Our first patient enrolled in this arm of the trial had never achieved disease remission after her initial diagnosis of ALL despite intensive chemotherapy. Strikingly, anti-CD19 CAR T-cell therapy resulted in the complete clearance of any detectable leukemia in this patient, and we were able to send her back to her primary oncologists for a bone marrow transplant."

Lee's research was partially funded by the St. Baldrick's Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). "Immunotherapy showed promising antileukemia activity in pediatric patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130407090726.htm>.
American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). (2013, April 7). Immunotherapy showed promising antileukemia activity in pediatric patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130407090726.htm
American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). "Immunotherapy showed promising antileukemia activity in pediatric patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130407090726.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins