Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research
Accelerating Progress Toward Cures
Dr. Julie Park is leading one of the world’s first clinical studies of immunotherapy for neuroblastoma – the deadliest childhood cancer.
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20 top children’s hospitals in innovation and technology – 9.05.2018 – Parents
Breakthroughs are born at these 20 children’s hospitals that rose to the top in an exclusive Parents magazine survey. The survey sought to identify hospitals with a proven track-record of medical advances as well as innovative ways to make little patients and their families more comfortable, while also taking into account a hospital’s adoption of the latest technologies and its efforts to share its innovations with other pediatric centers so more kids can benefit. As a member of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s Stand Up to Cancer Pediatric Cancer Dream Team, Seattle Children’s Hospital is focused on developing new treatments for many kinds of difficult-to-cure kid cancers. Currently, doctors are working on a vaccine to allow reprogrammed T cells to last longer, hoping to raise success rates. “We’re also studying how to make T cells attack solid tumors like neuroblastoma and brain tumors,” explains Dr. Mike Jensen, director of Seattle’s Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research.
Seattle Children’s launches into solid tumor treatments with new CAR T immunotherapy trial – 8.07.2018 – GeekWire
Seattle Children’s Research Institute is launching a CAR T immunotherapy clinical trial that will examine a new kind of cancer-fighting treatment. CAR T therapies have found early success in blood cancers, including leukemia and lymphoma, but have run into obstacles when it comes to solid tumor cancers like lung and breast cancer. This new trial, called STRIvE-01, is hoping to overcome those obstacles for children with sarcoma, kidney and neuroblastoma tumors. The trial will treat children whose cancer has relapsed, a group that often has few remaining treatment options. Dr. Katie Albert, the lead investigator of the trial, said the goal of this early trial is to test the safety of the new therapy and establish the best dose, although researchers also hope to see the trial make headway against patients’ tumors. “Further, we hope to observe efficacy against one or more types of tumors and minimal toxicity to normal tissues. In the best case scenario, this will simply be the first step in developing a curative therapy for our highest risk patients,” Albert said. Scientists at the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research will reprogram the T-cells of patients in the trial to create CAR T cells designed to hunt down cancer cells that display the EGFR protein. The new trial is yet another notch in the belt of Seattle Children’s growing immunotherapy research program.
Seattle Children's 'Brain Child' study seeks to stop brain cancer at the source – 6.19.2018 – KING5.com
More than 4,000 children battle brain cancer every year. About 25% of the time, the cancer returns after treatment. Seattle Children's has announced a new study, BrainChild-01, that seeks to stop cancer when it recurs. It takes a different approach to immunotherapy, a treatment that uses the body's own cells to target cancer. This time, doctors plan to inject cancer-fighting CAR T-cells directly into the brain. "We are using a newer generation of CAR T-cells with better signaling domains around it that will help the cell activate better," said neuro-oncologist Dr. Nick Vitanza, who moved to Seattle to work on studies like this with Dr. Mike Jensen, director of the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research. “This is very exciting new technology,” Vitanza said. “It's offering a new chance for a lot of people who thought they were out of chances.”