The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences


Dr. Carl June and his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania have succeeded in treating patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia using gene therapy. Two of the three patients treated sustained a complete remission and one a partial remission. The procedure involved transducing the patients’ T cells to express chimeric antigen receptors which target a particular protein found on both healthy and cancerous B cells. Following infusion of the newly transduced T cells, each patient developed clinical symptoms associated with an intense immune response. Shortly thereafter, tumors were completely eliminated in two of the patients and partially eliminated in the third. All three patients were pre-treated with conventional therapies and responded poorly. This study coalesces volumes of research in genetics, immunology, and molecular biology in what might just be the future of cancer treatment.