A Story of Engineered T cells



Here is a story of pioneers and trailblazers.   We will likely recall the names

June, Ludwig, Olson, Levine, Porter, Milone and Keller  with fond reverence.


We are all eternally grateful to those who ask ‘why’ and to those who reply ‘let me try’.

Hope you enjoy it.



BTW, the agent used in this article is now known as CTL-019.  It belongs to a new class called Chimeric Antigenic Receptors (CAR)


Terry thanks for sharing!


8 comments on “A Story of Engineered T cells

  1. Dana Holmes says:

    Thank you both for sharing!


  2. suzierose says:


    I gotta tell you, if I had HR-SMM (cytogenetically)…THIS is the type of trial I would work HARD to get into!

    CAR modified T cells are paving the way to a whole new era with the potential to ‘cure’ myeloma. These are game changing agents. Like Montana, Moss, Emmitt, and Tiger, and Serena and Venus, lol

    And it is so wonderful that they are no longer relying on CRAB to decide to treat…they had to when the drugs were extremely toxic and I get that. But now, patients need to know this is no MGUS, or SMM,( those names need to be thrown in the dust bin with the archaeic tests used to designate them) it’s early myeloma and you need therapy…the sooner the better.

    Smiling at the progress!!


  3. Dana Holmes says:

    You said it Suzie Rose…I love the sound of serial killer t-cells !! Music to my ears !


  4. suzierose says:

    You got it…ain’t no other time I like a serial killer…but this is one I root for!!


  5. Earl McKenzie says:

    Terrific article! Thanks!


  6. Terry Lytle says:

    The great thing is that this is quickly coming to fruition. It is not just theoretical. UPenn and Novartis signed their agreement last August and are moving forward. Myeloma is one of the initial targets. UPenn chose Novartis over two other companies because it was felt that Novartis would get the technology out quicker and due to their experience with Gleevec in CML. I read somewhere else through googling that the cost of this personalized T-Cell treatment would be about 20,000 bucks, must less than SCT and others types of therapies.


  7. suzierose says:

    Hey Terry!

    It’s great to hear that something highly effective is also affordable when it comes to cancer.

    Most often times the most uneffective toxic exhorbitantly priced agents are designated cancer ‘therapy’.

    So wonderful we are moving away from that to more civilized treatments.

    I read where they built the new Cancer Building on UPenn’s campus as this therapy requires them to manufacture specific to the patients T cells so the cost of distribution & inventory is gone. And we get personalized precision medicine!!

    I only had a very mild case of tumor lysis syndrome following the first 2 doses of carfilzomib and was glad to learn that Porter administered an cytokine inhibitor to ramp down the cytokine storm that follows

    I would have loved to have seen the wondrous joy Emily’s parents experienced!!

    God is good!


  8. Terry Lytle says:

    I am glad I am still on the “books” at UPenn but am hoping NOT to need their services for a long time! Knock on wood. When I had my pulmonary embolism last April, I saw Dr. Porter and then Dr. Stadtmauer, his colleague. Both are great guys but, at the time, none of the T Cell therapy was available to myeloma patients. Hopefully, that will change for all forms of cancer in the coming years as this ramps up. There is great hope out there.


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