They test in children a CAR-T immunotherapy that is already applied in adults to treat leukemia | The USA Print

They test in children a CAR-T immunotherapy that is already applied in adults to treat leukemia

He Sant Joan de Deu Hospital (Esplugues de Llobregat) has started a clinical trial to try on children with B lymphoblastic leukemia a CAR-T advanced immunotherapy already applied in adults who do not respond to those resistant to conventional treatments.

A 7 year old girl has been the first patient to receive this immunotherapy treatment within the framework of this clinical trial, which is scheduled to last two years and that one participate thirty patients from all over Spain.

This trial evaluates in pediatric patients the efficacy of Academic CAR-T ARI-0001, developed with the Hospital clinic of Barcelona and baptized with this name in memory of the patient who made it possible through a patronage campaign, although he could not overcome the disease and died in 2016.

This treatment was approved in 2021 by the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (Aemps) for the treatment of adults over 25 years with type B lymphoblastic leukemia in the event that they do not respond to conventional treatments, which usually consist of chemotherapy and, subsequently, a bone marrow transplant.

T cell therapy with chimeric antigen receptors (CAR-T) trains the patient’s immune system so that it can recognize, attack, and kill cancer cells in a targeted manner.

Consists in draw blood from the patient, separate T-lymphocytes (immune system cells) and modify them in the laboratory using techniques genetic engineering so that they have the capacity to destroy the Carcinogenic cells; once already “trained” to attack, they are reintroduced into the body of the patient.

The CAR-T that is tested in Sant Joan de Déu was developed at the Hospital Clínic and both Catalan hospitals tested it in both adults and children with B lymphoblastic leukemia.

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But Aemps only approved it in adults because in 2018 it had already validated another CAR-T, the Kymriah, created by the pharmaceutical industry and indicated for pediatric patients.

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For children there is also another CAR-T, developed by the Novartis company and that he was the first to approve the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for minors in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in second relapse.

But with this new CAR-T ARI, the researchers claim to be able to have a therapy in earliest phases of the disease, specifically in the first relapse (usually after chemotherapy), to show if it can be substitute for other treatments associated with greater risks, such as bone marrow transplantation.

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