CAR T-Cell Therapies for Pediatric Cancers

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CAR T-Cell Therapies for Pediatric Cancers

CAR T-Cell Therapy Program

Children’s Health and UT Southwestern are worldwide leaders in bringing CAR T-cell therapy to children with leukemia and other cancers.

CAR T-cell therapies use a groundbreaking new approach to fight leukemia and other cancers. These therapies retrain a child’s own immune cells – specifically their T cells – to find and destroy cancer cells.

CAR T-cell therapy for leukemia in children is most often used against acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). At Children’s Health℠, our pediatric CAR T-Cell Therapy Program provides this promising treatment to children whose ALL came back (known as a relapse) or who didn’t have success with traditional treatments (known as refractory disease). We played a pivotal role in the clinical trials that led to FDA approval of a CAR T-cell therapy for ALL called KYMRIAH™. We have guided more children through KYMRIAH treatment than almost any other center in the world.

The UT Southwestern Pediatric Group physicians practicing in The Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders are also at the forefront of developing CAR T-cell therapies for other cancers in children. This means we can offer access to the latest clinical trials. It also means that the same expert doctors who are developing promising treatments are the ones caring for your child.

Learn more about CAR T-Cell Therapy

Conditions We Treat

  • Synovial Sarcoma

The region’s most experienced pediatric CAR T-cell therapy program

Our team has been developing CAR T-cell therapies for many years and offering these therapies since 2015. We were the first hospital in Texas to offer pediatric CAR T-cell therapy, and we continue to treat more children with CAR T-cell therapy than any other hospital in our state, and almost any other hospital in the world.

This means we have the expertise to know when CAR T-cell therapy is a good option for your child. It also means we know how to anticipate and manage the complex health issues that can arise during Car T-cell treatment. This helps your child stay as healthy as possible during treatment, and gives them the best opportunity for a good recovery and result.

What is CAR T-cell therapy?

T cells are immune cells that attack things that can harm our body, like viruses or bacteria and even cancer cells. CAR T-cell therapies reprogram these cells to find and destroy cancer cells. Children’s Health was one of the first pediatric hospitals to develop this form of T-cell immunotherapy for children. Patients come to our CAR T-cell therapy program from around the world to benefit from our expertise and experience.

A leader in pediatric CAR T-cell therapy for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Nearly 9 out of 10 children diagnosed with ALL are successfully treated with traditional approaches like chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants. But before KYMRIAH CAR T-cell therapy for pediatric leukemia, there weren’t good treatment options for children when traditional treatments didn’t work.

Approximately 85% of children with ALL who received KYMRIAH go into remission. Nearly 70% of them are still in remission one year after receiving the treatment.

Children’s Health has helped more patients go into remission from pediatric T-cell immunotherapy than almost any other center. Many families travel so their children can receive KYMRIAH CAR T-cell therapy here, drawn by our expertise and our track record.

Expert support throughout pediatric CAR T-cell therapy

Our dedicated team guides you step-by-step through the CAR T-cell therapy process, so your child and family receive the expert care and logistical support you need.

You can count on:

  • Our doctors, advanced nurse practitioners and nurses to be available around-the-clock to answer any questions and provide care.
  • Our support team to work with your insurance companies and provide financial counseling.
  • Our nurse navigators to make your life easier by scheduling appointments and staying by your side to coordinate every step in this complex process.
  • Our social workers to understand and help with your needs, including transportation, and securing housing and food near the hospital if you need it.
  • Our child life specialists, and pastoral and spiritual care specialists to support your child and family’s non-medical needs.
  • Follow-up care and long-term survivorship care by our After Cancer Experience team, to help detect and manage any complications or side effects of T-cell immunotherapy.

Pursuing the next wave of pediatric CAR T-cell therapy advances

Our leadership in CAR T-cell therapy research through our affiliation with UT Southwestern sets us apart. We were the only pediatric medical center in Texas involved in the initial, groundbreaking clinical trials that resulted in FDA approval of KYMRIAH.

Now we are building on this progress by developing new cell therapies for different types of cancer, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and synovial sarcoma. Our research means that we are always up to date on the newest treatment approaches, and that your child will have access to the latest knowledge and therapies.

We are also involved in multiple clinical trials through the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), which brings together top pediatric oncologists from around the world to study pediatric cancers and develop new treatments. These clinical trials give some children access to promising new therapies before they’re widely available.

Meet the Care Team