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IO360° 2016 Keynote Dr Carl June’s Pioneering Work Called “Cancer’s Newest Miracle Cure” by Time Magazine


  • August 17, 2017

  • Immuno-Oncology 360° 2016 keynote, Dr Carl June, Director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center is making headlines again for curing a seven-year-old with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) with CAR-T immunotherapy. Time Magazine called him “Cancer’s Newest Miracle Cure” for curing Kaitlyn Johnson, who was diagnosed at 18 months with ALL and had spent several years going through multiple unsuccessful chemotherapy treatments. Her options were a bone-marrow transplant, where there was a good chance she would reject the donor cells, or participation in a gene therapy clinical trial.

    In 2015, Kaitlyn’s parents brought her to Dr June’s team at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where she entered the immunotherapy trial and went through eight weeks of treatment and recovered. She has been in remission since.

    “This therapy is utterly transformative for this kind of leukemia and also lymphoma,” says Stephan Grupp, director of the cancer immunotherapy program at CHOP and one of the lead doctors treating patients in the study in which Kaitlyn participated.

    Dr Carl June with Emily Whitehead and her parents at IO360° 2016

    Dr Carl June is also known for treating Emily Whitehead, the first pediatric patient to undergo CAR-T Therapy, for ALL. Emily is now five years cancer-free. Emily’s parents, Tom and Kari Whitehead, joined IO360° 2016 to share her journey through the immunotherapy trial.

    The FDA is scheduled to make a decision in a matter of weeks on the recommendation provided by the FDA advisory panel which voted unanimously to move CAR-T therapy beyond testing and declare it a standard therapy for children with certain leukemias if all previous treatments failed.

    In 2016, Dr Carl June and Emily Whitehead’s parents spoke at IO360° about their experience. The next IO360° summit will take place on February 7-9, 2018 in New York City and will cover the full spectrum of IO research and development, from preclinical, translational and clinical to emerging technologies, business aspects, investor relations and trends in the field.

    Learn more about Emily Whitehead and the Emily Whitehead Foundation.