SUCCESSFUL TREATMENT OF CHILDHOOD LEUKEMIA WITH CAR T-CELLS

Successful treatment of childhood leukemia with CAR T-cells

In a first in Israel, Sheba Medical Center has achieved remission in a pediatric patient’s leukemia through CAR T-cell therapy. This innovative therapy is still only in clinical trials in the US, but has shown excellent results in over 70% of patients. Sheba is proud to be able to offer this effective treatment to our patients.

In Israel’s first and only such case, a child suffering from leukemia received CAR T-cell therapy and has achieved complete remission. This represents the first time that this treatment has been performed outside the United States. This innovative treatment is considered to be a breakthrough in the field of immunotherapy and in this case used CAR T-cells originally obtained from the patient’s own blood cells.

Cancer treatment using T-cells from the immune system first underwent research in Israel 25 years ago. The idea was to insert CSR receptors in the T-cells, thereby arming and directing them to act against specific markers on the cancer cells.

During the past five years, the first clinical trials of the CAR T-cell have shown unprecedented success. Teams led by the National Cancer Institute and other centers in the US have demonstrated complete resolution of refractory leukemia and recurrent leukemia in over 70% of patients. This therapy is now considered to be a cutting-edge immunotherapy treatment and is still given in the US only on a clinical trial basis.

Led by the Pediatric Hemato-Oncology Department and the Ella Lemelbaum Institute of Immuno-Oncology, the CAR T-cell therapy was introduced at Sheba. Sheba was the first medical center outside of the US to utilize this innovative treatment successfully.

Prof. Amos Toren, Director of the Pediatric Hemato-Oncology Department, stated, “We are always proactive and up to date on the latest breakthroughs in the field in order to provide our patients with the most appropriate answer and the best available treatment. We have sent one of our finest specialists, Dr. Elad Jacoby, to learn the CAR T-cell technology at NIH in the US, and now we have brought it to Sheba. We are excited to receive such satisfactory results in our first patient.”