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Reprogramming Patient’s Own T-cells to Fight Leukemia

The FDA may soon approve a new cancer therapy that genetically alters a patient’s own existing T-cells to help treat certain forms of leukemia. This new, investigational treatment is known as CTL019 and is a type of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy.

CTL019 utilizes a process in which T-cells are carefully harvested from each individual leukemia patient. These patient-specific T-cells are then genetically reprogrammed to express a chimeric CD19 antigen receptor and subsequently transfused back into the specific patient from whom they were originally collected. Once back inside the patient, these reprogrammed T-cells multiply, hunt down, and attack CD19-positive leukemia cells.

Click here to read about this FDA update in the NY Times.