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Accelerating Access to Cellular Therapies for the Treatment of Childhood Malignancies

Institution: 
Seattle Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center
Researcher(s): 
Julie Park, MD
Grant Type: 
Phase I/II Infrastructure Grants
Year Awarded: 
2013
Type of Childhood Cancer: 
Brain Tumors, Rhabdomyosarcoma, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), Neuroblastoma
Project Description: 

The outcome for some of the most common childhood cancers remains unacceptable and for those who survive, long-term medical complications of therapy are a reality.

Our pediatric oncology program at Seattle Children's Hospital (SCH)/Seattle Children's Research Institute (SCRI) is committed to investigate new therapies for childhood cancers. Investigators at SCH/SCRI and within the Seattle Cancer Consortium (SCH/SCRI, University of Washington, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center) have a strong record of translating preclinical laboratory investigations into early phase clinical trials and further successful transition of these therapies to national consortia for definitive assessment. We are committed to further our efforts by now translating laboratory research into developing therapies that will utilize the patient's immune system to target and eliminate cancer.

Our long-term vision is to eradicate childhood cancer while minimizing the long term effects of therapy that childhood cancer survivors of today must endure. Funding from the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) is critical to our ability to fulfill our mission. The requested ALSF funding will support the research personnel necessary to complete clinical immunotherapy trials initiated at our program and to maximize our collaboration with pediatric centers worldwide. We pledge to expand our current clinical research personnel and ensure the rapid development and implementation of our clinical trials to ensure that novel immunotherapies will be available to families and patients fighting cancer.

Update January 2016

The outcome for some of the most common childhood cancers remains unacceptable and for those who survive, long‐term medical complications of therapy are a reality. Funding from the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) is critical to our ability to fulfill our mission to advance treatment of pediatric cancers. Our pediatric oncology program at Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCH)/Seattle Children’s Research Institute (SCRI) is committed to investigate new therapies for childhood cancers. With SCH’s development of the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research and one of the nation’s few GMP facilities committed solely to pediatrics, we are now poised to translate pre‐clinical immunotherapy investigations into novel therapies for children with cancer. ALSF funding has been instrumental in ensuring rapid development of T cell immunotherapy trials for children with leukemia and neuroblastoma. With the assistance of ALSF funding, we have opened 3 immunotherapy trials that utilize a patient’s own immune fighting cells (T cells) to target cancer. The patients T cells are genetically modified to attack either leukemia (CD19) or neuroblastoma (L1CAM), grown in a special facility and then administered back to the patient. To date 55 patients have been enrolled onto these clinical trials. ALSF funding will allow further expansion of our clinical research personnel to ensure continued rapid development and implementation of clinical trials and efficient collection and reporting of clinical trial data. These efforts will maximize our ability to bring novel adoptive immunotherapies to patients and families fighting cancer.