Published on in CHOP News
Stephan A. Grupp, MD, PhD, made history when he treated the first child with CAR T-cell therapy, Emily Whitehead. Emily, the first, and now longest living pediatric patient to receive CAR T-cell therapy to treat her acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), has maintained remission for six years since receiving the experimental treatment in 2012. CAR T-cell therapy became the first-ever FDA-approved cellular, gene therapy in 2017.
In CAR T-cell therapy, a patient’s immune cells are genetically modified to make them seek out and kill leukemia cells. The approach was developed by a team at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, in collaboration with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Novartis.
In this episode, Dr. Grupp focuses on required preparations, recovery phase, and potential new applications for this innovation treatment. Tom Whitehead, Emily’s father, also shares his experience with the trial and his daughter’s progress.