A big win over pediatric leukemia: CAR T-cell therapy

Sam Tingalia

Sam Tinaglia, one of the first 100 children in the country to participate in clinical trials of CAR T-cell therapy for cancer, gets ready to leave for college.

Sam Tinaglia spent 12 years living with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). For most children with ALL the first line therapy of outpatient chemotherapy is successful, but Sam was among the 20 percent of children who relapse after initial treatment. In the years that followed, more aggressive chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant brought short remissions, but the cancer came back again and again.

Now, Sam has new hope after he became one of the first 100 children in the country to receive CAR T-cell therapy, a revolutionary new blood cancer treatment approved by the FDA and offered at Comer Children’s Hospital. Comer is one of the first sites in the Midwest to offer the treatment, which works by using modified versions of a patient’s own blood cells to target and destroy cancer cells.

Read more about Sam’s story as he prepares to head off to college and pursue his dream of becoming a sports broadcaster.

About Matt Wood (503 Articles)
Matt Wood is a senior science writer at the University of Chicago Medicine and nonfiction editor for Another Chicago Magazine.
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