UNIQUE LEUKEMIA TREATMENT TECHNOLOGY: ADAPTIVE CELL THERAPY (CAR T-CELL THERAPY)
Sheba Medical Center
- the only medical center in Israel where this unique technology can be found. Since last year, a brand new approach to the treatment of Leukemia, developed under the sponsorship of the Lemelbaum family, practiced at the Institute for the Study of Melanoma "Ella" at the Sheba Medical Center.
Powerlessness and desperate - described the feelings 7-year-old Jonathan’s mother, as learned that her son Leukemia relapsed yet again. Jonathan was diagnosed with Leukemia for the first time when he was only two and a half years old. Since then, Jonathan has undergone two bone marrow treatments, but unfortunately, they were not successful.
However, due to a fundamentally new treatment method, the child's life was finally saved. Just a month receiving treatment at Sheba Medical Center, Jonathan is fully recovered with no signs of the disease in his body.
In the past, similar methods of Leukemia treatment were only practiced in some of the most advanced hospitals in the U.S. Sheba Medical Center was the first clinic outside of the U.S., and Jonathan - the first Israeli patient - to successfully undergo the course of treatment. The therapy in question is an innovative variety of immunotherapy - CAR T-Cell Therapy. At the initial stage specialists from the Sheba Medical Center a certain number of immune from Jonathan’ blood and modified them. As a result, the immune system gained the ability to recognize cancer cells by specific parameters and to then deliberately destroy them.
What is Adaptive Cell Therapy (CAR T-Cell Therapy)?
Adaptive Cell Therapy is a type of immunotherapy in which immune cells are isolated from the body of the patient, cultured or genetically modified in the laboratory, and then returned to the patient in an increased amount.
One method of Adaptive Cell Therapy is CAR T-Cell Therapy, or therapy with a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR). Clinical trials have shown that this method is particularly effective in the treatment of Leukemia.
The CAR T-Cell Therapy method involves the removal of T-cells from the patient’s organism. The removed T-cells undergo genetic modification of their protein expression with the goal of recognizing a specific antigen which can be found on the surface of Leukemic cells. The receptor is called Chimeric because its hybrid molecules are composed of two different proteins - antibodies and T-cell receptors. The majority of existing antigenic Chimeric receptors are used to detect the specific marker CD19, found on the surface of white blood cells (B cells). CD19 is expressed by both normal and cancerous B-cells responsible for the development of Leukemia. This way, CAR T-Cell Therapy is directed at the treatment of Leukemia which affects the B-cells.