April 13, 2018 | by Letisia Marquez
City of Hope recently announced that it is a certified treatment center to administer tisagenlecleucel (commercial name Kymriah) chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy – the first CAR T cell therapy approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – to patients up to 25 years of age with B cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) that is refractory or in second or later relapse.
City of Hope is the only institution in Southern California to currently offer both tisagenlecleucel and axicabtagene ciloleucel (commercial name Yescarta), the second CAR T cell therapy approved by the FDA, solidifying City of Hope’s position as a leader in this newest form of cancer immunotherapy.
Tisagenlecleucel, a Novartis product, is a CAR T therapy and one-time treatment that uses a patient's own T cells to fight B cell precursor ALL that has resisted all treatment options or has relapsed a second or subsequent time.
“CAR T therapy is a lifesaver for people living with certain cancers that are difficult to treat, and City of Hope is proud to be at the forefront of advancing this innovative approach,” said Joseph Rosenthal, M.D., Barron Hilton Chair in Pediatrics and chair of City of Hope's Department of Pediatrics. “With tisagenlecleucel, we now have the opportunity to provide this novel cell-based therapy to our youngest ALL patients who are in need of other treatment options.”
City of Hope is a recognized leader in the advancement of CAR T cell therapies. City of Hope applies its proprietary CAR T cell technology in active preclinical and clinical programs across a range of hematologic cancers and solid tumors, and collaborates with other academic researchers and global biopharmaceutical companies to advance clinical research in areas of high unmet medical need and make their therapies available to patients.
City of Hope’s Department of Pediatrics has a long history dating back to the early 1960s. In addition to offering Kymriah to eligible pediatric patients, City of Hope also offers CAR T clinical trials to patients with ALL ages 18 and up, and patients ages 12 and up with acute myeloid leukemia and glioblastoma.
In addition, City of Hope’s history with CAR T cell therapy dates back to the late 1990s. Since then, more than 200 patients have been treated in CAR T trials at City of Hope; the institution was also the first to administer CAR T cell therapy locally in the brain to glioblastoma patients through direct injection to the tumor site and/or through infusion in the ventricular system.
City of Hope was also the first to offer CAR T trials targeting CD123 in acute myeloid leukemia. City of Hope, which has one of the most comprehensive CAR T cell clinical research programs in the world, currently has 14 ongoing CAR T clinical trials and plans to open additional trials in 2018 for patients with a variety of cancer types, including HER2 positive breast cancer with brain metastatic disease. City of Hope’s unique blend of multidisciplinary specialization – encompassing physicians, nurses and intensive care and transfusion medicine experts sharing stem cell transplant expertise – will also benefit CAR T patients, who require intensive medical care after treatment.
Patients interested in learning more about tisagenlecleucel treatment at City of Hope can call 833-310-CART(2278) or visit CityofHope.org/ALL-CAR-T.