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For Experimental Cancer Therapy, a Struggle to Ensure Supply Keeps up With Demand

For Experimental Cancer Therapy, a Struggle to Ensure Supply Keeps up With Demand

A transformative cancer therapy based on modified immune cells has lured doctors, companies, and patients alike, but many are hitting a frustrating roadblock: generating enough of these chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cells to meet surging demand. Seattle Children’s Hospital recently broke ground on a building that in a few years will triple or quadruple its cell therapy capacity, now about 10 batches of CAR-T cells a month. Right now the time to generate cells from “vein to vein” ranges from about 2 to 4 weeks, depending partly on the technique. Dr. Rebecca Gardner, a pediatric oncologist at Seattle Children’s, says the hospital is shifting to a more efficient approach which shaves a week or two off its 3- to 4-week time frame.

About Seattle Children’s

Seattle Children’s mission is to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. Together, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Research Institute and Foundation deliver superior patient care, identify new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and raise funds to create better futures for patients.

Ranked as one of the top children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical center for Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho – the largest region of any children’s hospital in the country. As one of the nation's top five pediatric research centers, Seattle Children’s Research Institute is internationally recognized for its work in neurosciences, immunology, cancer, infectious disease, injury prevention and much more. Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation works with the Seattle Children’s Guild Association, the largest all-volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country, to gather community support and raise funds for uncompensated care and research.

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