Johns Hopkins All Children’s is the only pediatric hospital in Florida offering a cutting-edge treatment option for B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia which uses the body's own T cells to fight cancer.
The Johns Hopkins All Children’s Cancer & Blood Disorders Institute offers CAR-T cell therapy to treat patients up to 25 years old who have B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). CAR-T therapy is used in rare cases that do not go into remission after receiving other leukemia treatments or in cases of later relapse. Our Cancer & Blood Disorders Institute is the first certified treatment center in Florida offering CAR T-cell therapy to patients.
What is CAR-T Cell Therapy?
CAR-T cell therapy, a type of cancer immunotherapy, is a new prescription cancer treatment that uses a patient’s own immune system to treat B-cell leukemia. KYMRIAH (tisagenlecleucel) is the first Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved CAR-T cell therapy in the United States.
How CAR-T Cell Therapy Works
- Blood cells are removed from the child, frozen and sent to a lab to be genetically modified to recognize and destroy leukemia cells.
- The lab separates the T-cells and then genetically modifies them.
- This process involves giving the T-cells the ability to recognize a protein called CD19, which is present on your child’s cancerous B-cells.
- After genetic modification is complete, the T-cells have the power to recognize the cancerous B-cells, attach to them, and destroy them.
- These enhanced T-cells, now CAR-T cells (and named KYMRIAH), are put back into the patient and flow throughout the body to locate the cancerous B cells.
- Once the CAR-T cells are put back into the body, they multiply and remain in the body to fight any new cancerous B cells.
What to Expect
Once your child is eligible to receive CAR T-cell therapy, he or she will need to be admitted to Johns Hopkins All Children’s when KYMRIAH is administered. The therapy may cause side effects
, so we want to make sure your child is closely monitored during that time. After discharge, we will continue to follow your child during regularly scheduled clinic visits.
Questions? Give us a call.
To learn more about CAR-T cell therapy at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital or for referral information, please call 727-767-6856.