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Meet Erin: September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Erin Cross of Chester, England was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2012 at 2 just years of age. After more than two years of chemotherapy, it looked like her battle with cancer was behind her. But in 2016, Erin’s parents received the devastating news that she had relapsed. After exhausting all treatment options, Erin and her parents came to Seattle Children’s to participate in a groundbreaking T-cell immunotherapy trial. Weeks after receiving treatment, Erin was in remission and able to go back home to family and friends in the U.K.

At Seattle Children’s Hospital, our researchers are developing new cancer immunotherapies that could help patients achieve long-term remission.

When our first cancer immunotherapy trial helped more than 90% of participants with relapsed or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) achieve remission, many people wondered if we would push that therapy to market. Instead, we launched a full-court press to figure out why about half those patients relapsed within a year, and to find ways to help children beat cancer for good.

“Our initial results were an amazing step forward, but too many kids relapsed,” says Dr. Michael Jensen, who directs our Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research. “Our goal isn’t to take therapies to market – it’s to give children a cure.”

In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we invite you to discover more information about T-Cell Immunotherapy and the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Seattle Children’s.