T-Cell Immunotherapy for Leukemia

Penn researchers recently published findings from the CAR T Cell clinical trial in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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How T-Cell Immunotherapy for Leukemia Works

  • A patient's own immune cells (T cells) are removed from the blood and genetically modified or reprogrammed in the laboratory.
  • This modification or reprogramming allows them to potentially target and kill their own malignant cells. The modified cells (CTL019 cells) are then grown in the laboratory and re-infused into the patient.
  • When the patient's own T-cells recognize and bind to the malignant cell, they have the ability to become activated and kill it.

Frequently Asked Questions about Clinical Trials

Cancer Treatment at Penn

If you are interested in chronic lymphocytic leukemia or acute lymphoblastic leukemia treatment at Penn, or to schedule an appointment with a cancer physician specializing in immunotherapy call 800-789-PENN (7366) or request an appointment online.

Genetically Modified T Cells Obliterate Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Tumors

Researchers at Penn's Abramson Cancer Center have molecularly engineered T-cells from patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia and re-introduced them with remarkable success.

University of Pennsylvania's Personalized Cellular Therapy for Leukemia Receives FDA's Breakthrough Therapy Designation

Carl June, MD"Our early findings reveal tremendous promise for a desperate group of patients, many of whom have been able to return to their normal lives at school and work after receiving this new, personalized immunotherapy," said Carl June, MD Penn research team's leader, Carl June, MD, the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy in the department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine and director of Translational Research in the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania. "Receiving the FDA's Breakthrough Designation is an essential step in our work with Novartis to expand this therapy to patients across the world who desperately need new options to help them fight this disease." Read more...