3 4 2 1 Breakthrough CAR T-Cell Therapy for Blood Cancer The University of Chicago Medicine is the first site in Chicago and Illinois to be certified by both Kite Pharma Inc. and Novartis to offer chimeric antigen receptor T-cell, or CAR T-cell, therapy for adult patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, a form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. UChicago Medicine is also among the first sites in the Midwest cer­ - tified to offer the therapy for pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Used to supplement forms of cancer treatment like chemother- apy, radiation, and stem cell trans- plants, CAR T-cell therapy uses modified versions of a patient’s own blood cells to target and destroy cancer cells. To create CAR T cells, scientists remove some of each patient’s T cells, the workhorses of the immune system. Then they mod- ify the cells to detect both normal and diseased B cells. They grow millions of these modified T cells in the lab and then return the re-pro- grammed T cells to the patient, through a simple intravenous drip. Within a few days, these CAR T cells multiply in the body, then search for diseased B cells and destroy them. Patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma often relapse after standard treatments, but those treated with CAR T-cell therapy have doubled the long-term sur- vival rate. Now, about 50 percent of those patients appear to have lasting complete remissions. Michael Bishop, MD, professor of medicine, leads the Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Program for adults and John Cunningham, MD, George M. Eisenberg Professor of Pediatrics, leads the program for pediatrics. What If Our Immune System Could Treat Cancer Cells Like They Were Just Germs? T cells (the workhorse of the immune system) are collected from the patient’s blood. Scientists insert instructions that enable those T cells to find specific cancer cells. While the T cells multiply in the lab, the patient receives chemotherapy to reduce the number of cancer cells. The engineered T cells are returned to the patient’s blood- stream, where they seek out and kill remaining cancer cells. 14 Powered by Innovation