Patients with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) that has returned after initial treatment have a limited number of treatment options. The goal of this study is to assess the safety of a new therapy that can be given to pediatric and young adult patients with B-ALL that has returned despite prior therapy.
The investigational therapy uses T cells (a type of white blood cell) that have been removed from the patient and genetically modified in the laboratory to recognize a protein on leukemia cells called CD19. The modified T cells are returned to the patient, and it is hoped that they will find and kill leukemia cells. T cells altered in this way were shown to be capable of killing B-cell cancers in laboratory studies and in adults with B-cell ALL that has returned after chemotherapy.