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at the Abramson Cancer Center

Empowering the Immune System to Kill Cancer


In a landmark decision for the field of cancer immunotherapy, the FDA approved a personalized cellular therapy created by Penn Medicine for the treatment of patients up to 25 years old with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
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A short documentary film detailing the story of the first pediatric patient to receive Penn Medicine’s personalized cellular therapy, produced by Ross Kauffman.

Changing How the World Fights Cancer

With the discovery of the first gene therapy to be approved by the FDA, Penn Medicine is leading the world in immunotherapy research. Our researchers are working relentlessly to realize the full potential of this innovative approach: reprogramming the body’s own immune cells to seek and destroy every last cancer cell.

One way that we’re doing this is through an immunotherapy treatment option called CAR T cell therapy. A personalized cellular therapy, it teaches the body’s immune systems to recognize and kill cancer cells.

CAR T cell therapy has become a powerful addition to Penn’s cancer-fighting arsenal of surgery, targeted therapies, and precision radiation treatments. We have treated nearly 500 blood cancer patients in CAR T clinical trials.

For more information, call 215-316-5127 or request a consultation today.

Immune Cells Killed Doug's Cancer

For 20 years, Doug Olson lived with an enemy determined to take his life: chronic lymphocytic leukemia or CLL, a cancer that starts in the bone marrow. Over 14 years, Doug endured four rounds of conventional chemotherapy to control his CLL. But the cancer was relentless and progressing. 

His oncologist, David Porter, MD, suggested something revolutionary and that's when he learned about the immunotherapy research study.

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Additional Cutting-Edge Immunotherapy Treatments at Penn

Our dynamic research program is always growing. In addition to CAR T therapy, we focus on other types of immunotherapy research, such as vaccine therapy and checkpoint inhibitors.