Seattle Children’s is an international leader in treatment and research focused on curing childhood cancer by boosting the immune system with immunotherapy. Experts in our Immunotherapy Program work to improve outcomes for young people and reduce side effects by harnessing the power of the immune system to recognize and destroy cancer.
Our Cancer and Blood Disorders Center offers state-of-the-art cancer therapies and investigational clinical trials often not available at other hospitals, including chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy, also known as CAR T-cell therapy.
CAR T-cell therapy is a promising new treatment for some childhood cancers. It works by educating the body’s own T cells, a type of white blood cell, to seek out and destroy cancer cells wherever they are hiding in the body.
Here are the 5 steps in the CAR T-cell process:
Seattle Children’s is now offering CAR T-cell therapy for eligible patients up to the age of 25 with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia that has not responded to or has returned after initial treatment. This CAR T-cell therapy, known as KYMRIAH™, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2017. It works by genetically altering the body's T-cells — immune system cells — to detect and destroy infected or cancerous cells.
Seattle Children’s offers investigational CAR T-cell clinical trials for more types of childhood cancers including leukemia, lymphoma, brain and spinal cord tumors, and solid tumors than anywhere else. We were one of the first in the world to offer CAR T-cell trials for children with diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG).
Seattle Children's Therapeutics, part of Seattle Children’s Research Division, has developed 16 CAR T-cell clinical trials for childhood cancer since 2012. CAR T-cell products used in our trials are made onsite at our own state-of-the-art Therapeutics Cell Manufacturing facility. This means we can deliver treatments quickly to patients.
More than 500 children, teens and young adults have received investigational CAR T-cell therapy through clinical trials at Seattle Children’s and at our collaborating sites.
Our clinical trials focus on:
Seattle Children’s doctors and researchers are leading efforts to better treat leukemia and lymphoma in children and young adults by using CAR T-cell therapy, an experimental cancer treatment that stimulates the immune system to fight disease. These trials are known as Pediatric Leukemia Adoptive Therapy (PLAT).
Doctors and researchers at Seattle Children’s are testing CAR T-cell therapy in children and young adults with recurrent or refractory central nervous system (CNS) tumors (tumors of the brain and spine). These tumors include diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) and diffuse midline glioma (DMG). These trials are known as BrainChild.
Doctors and researchers at Seattle Children’s are testing CAR T-cell therapy in children and young adults with relapsed or refractory solid tumors such as sarcomas, kidney tumors and neuroblastoma. These trials are called STRIvE and ENLIGHTen.
Additional immunotherapy clinical trials include:
“Harper would not be here right now if it wasn’t for everybody at Seattle Children’s. From day one, they’ve been comforting and compassionate. They bend over backwards to keep families involved and helped us fight for our child.”
— Meagan Hollingshead