Home News & Events CCCR News Gene modified T cell therapy for ALL (CART19 cells to treat ALL)

Gene modified T cell therapy for ALL (CART19 cells to treat ALL)

Now open for patient enrollment

discover-100-cover

Discover Magazine listed the CART19 trial as one of the top 10 stories of 2011.

Many people are contacting us because of recent news reports about a study using genetically modified T cells to treat patients with B cell cancers such as Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL), B cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL), the adult disease Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) and other B cell malignancies.

We are working with the University of Pennsylvania to test this treatment in adults (at Penn's Abramson Cancer Center) and children (at CHOP). Because of the overwhelming response to the media coverage of the trial, we are providing additional information via this website.

This study is relevant for those with B cell cancers only (B cell ALL or B cell lymphoma), not other leukemias or other pediatric cancers.

The trial is currently open but has limited openings, so very few patients will be able to be treated.

How the Study Works

Autologous T cells are immune cells taken from a patient's own blood. These cells are then modified to express a protein on their surface that will recognize and bind to a target on B cells called CD19. This CD19 protein is on most B-cell cancers like ALL, CLL, and B cell lymphoma. These modified T cells are then grown (expanded) in the laboratory and given back to patients in an attempt to treat their leukemia. When the patient's own T cells recognize and bind to the cancer cell, they have the ability to become activated and kill the leukemia cell.

Initial Results

Our initial results are unique for several reasons. While we have only treated a small number of patients (3 adults with CLL), we have been able to show:

  • A patient's modified T cells can survive for many months after administration, and have the ability to grow in the body in large quantities.
  • The modified T cells have been able to kill large quantities of CLL cells in all 3 patients treated.
    We are very hopeful about this as future effective therapy for patients with B cell cancers.

Important Considerations

It is important to note that this therapy is very early in testing. At the time of our publications and media coverage, this clinical trial has enrolled 3 patients with B-cell CLL. The clinical trial will only enroll a few patients. We regret not being able to offer this therapy to larger numbers of people but believe testing of such a new approach to cancer treatment must be methodical and meticulous.

We are extremely excited about our preliminary results and hope we are on the path to develop a new and effective treatment for ALL, CLL and lymphoma.


How to Contact Us

If you are a patient or family member of someone with B cell ALL and other B cell malignancies you may contact us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions, comments, feedback or requests for information.


To schedule an appointment or request a second opinion at CHOP, call 215-590-2810.


If you are an adult patient or family member, please visit the Abramson Cancer Center to learn more about this study and how to get more information.


For more information about other open clinical trials at CHOP, search our Clinical Trials Search Tool.