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Oncologists from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) today celebrated a watershed moment in medicine: approval by the European Commission (EC) of Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel, formerly CTL019) –the first-ever U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved personalized CAR T-cell gene immunotherapy for aggressive blood cancers, pioneered together with Novartis and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

The EC approved Kymriah for the treatment of pediatric and young adult patients up to 25 years of age with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) that is refractory, in relapse post-transplant or in second or later relapse; and for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory (r/r) diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) after two or more lines of systemic therapy.

“Six years ago, when we treated the first child, Emily Whitehead, with this experimental therapy, these patient populations had exhausted all the treatments we had to offer. There was nothing left for us to offer,” said Stephan Grupp, MD, PhD, Director of the Cancer Immunotherapy Program and Section Chief of Cell Therapy and Transplant at CHOP, and a Professor of Pediatrics in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. “In a remarkably short period of time

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