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The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

Despite all the available therapies, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) remains extremely difficult to eradicate. Current available therapies, which include chemotherapy, radiation, and stem cell transplants, tend to be more successful in treating children than adults. While adults are more likely than children to relapse after treatment, the most common cause of treatment failure in children is also relapse. Improved outcomes for all ALL patients may depend upon new immunotherapies, specifically CAR T-cell therapy. CAR T-cell therapy extracts a patient’s own T-cells and modifies them with a CD19 antigen. This modification allows the new T-cells to recognize and kill cancer cells that contain the antigen on their surfaces, like leukemia cells do. Although CAR T-cell therapy may cause toxicities such as Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS), they are mostly short term and reversible. Trials indicate that almost all patients who undergo CAR T-cell therapy will enter complete remission. Though a large percentage of those patients will experience a relapse, relapse rates of CAR T-cell therapy are lower than other treatments. By reviewing the available research literature regarding CAR T-cell therapy, this paper examines the effectiveness of this therapy in different patient populations and demonstrates that CAR T-cell therapy significantly improves event-free survival rates in ALL patients.

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