“Avrey Walker is cancer free!!!! A total remission!” her father announced on their Facebook page last week.
Avrey was the seventh child to receive an experimental leukemia therapy at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the second whose response has resulted in a complete recovery.
The family was overjoyed to report the good news after living for years with an aggressive form of childhood leukemiathat was unresponsive to regular treatments.
Avrey’s doctors reported a complete remission of her disease— no evidence of cancer cells in her body—after treatment that used a novel cell therapy to reprogram her immune cells to rapidly destroy targets in leukemia cells.
Another of the patients, 7-year-old Emily Whitehead, was featured in news stories in December 2012 after the experimental therapy led to her dramatic recovery. Emily remains healthy and cancer-free one year after her T-cells were reengineered to lock-in and destroy targets found in cells carrying that lethal form of leukemia (acute lymphoblastic leukemia).
According to the children’s hospital, a third patient, a 10-year-old girl who also had a complete response to the same treatment, suffered a relapse two months later when other leukemia cells appeared that did not harbor the specific cell receptor targeted by the therapy. Using this data, the research team continues to refine their approach to using this new technology and to explore why some patients may not respond to the therapy or may experience a recurrence of their disease.
– READ the full story at Philly.com
– WATCH a video below about a similar treatment for adult leukemia patients (Mar. 2013)
Photo credit: Avrey Walker by JoyRX, Children’s Cancer Assn – Thanks to Joel Arellano for submitting the link on our Facebook Page