Seattle Children’s doctors and researchers are leading efforts to better treat cancer in children, adolescents and young adults by boosting the immune system with immunotherapy. Clinical trials developed at the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research – PLAT and ENCIT – focus on T-cell therapy. 

Is T-cell therapy effective?

The clinical trials needed to answer that question are ongoing, but early results are very promising. In April 2017, Seattle Children's published in Blood that:

  • 40 of 43 patients achieved complete initial remission during treatment in the phase 1 PLAT-02 clinical trial studying immunotherapy to treat relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). This is a 93% initial remission rate. 
  • Of the children who achieved initial remission, about 50% were still in remission 1 year after therapy. Some have now been in remission for more than 3 years.

How does T-cell therapy work?

T cells are white blood cells in the immune system that fight infection. In T-cell therapy, we take T cells from the child’s own blood. Using laboratory techniques, we reprogram the T cells to recognize cancer cells, and we grow the reprogrammed T cells into millions of cells. Then, we take the reprogrammed T cells and return them to the child’s body. Once in the child's body, the T cells find and destroy cancer cells without harming normal, healthy cells.

Our doctors hope T-cell therapy will transform care for some childhood cancers, making treatment more effective, in less time, with milder side effects. We develop clinical trials of novel therapies like this so we can continue to provide the highest level of care for each child.


Discover a World Without Childhood Cancer

Watch Dr. Michael Jensen describe this new immunotherapy treatment for childhood cancer.

Who can benefit from the studies?

  • PLAT – Children and young adults with relapsed or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) or other CD19+ or CD22+ acute leukemia who have not responded to standard therapies
  • ENCIT-01 – Children and adolescents with recurrent or refractory neuroblastoma who are not likely to survive with current treatments

Meet the Experts

Contact Us

For more information on pediatric immunotherapy or referral information, please email us.

New Cure. New Hope.

Strong Against Cancer logo transparentThrough our Strong Against Cancer initiative, we’re leading the fight against childhood cancer with  immunotherapy. Learn how you can get involved.