Nov 02, 2017
Rachel, age 21, relapsed leukemia survivor.
Healthy and in remission after just one gene therapy treatment.
Rachel was first diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in June 2008 when she was 11 years old. She followed the standard two-year protocol of chemotherapy and entered high school in 2010 in remission. In March 2015, Rachel’s leukemia returned during her freshman year at the College of Charleston. This time, she experienced cytokine release syndrome due to her chemotherapy treatments. She spent 100 days in the hospital to rebuild her immune system followed by four months of intense physical therapy.
In the fall of 2016, Rachel transferred to Virginia Commonwealth University, which was closer to home and her oncologist. After she relapsed again that October, her doctors recommended she take part in the CAR T trials developed by Dr. Carl June taking place at the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia (CHOP). That December, Rachel went to CHOP for the clinical trial and returned home before the end of January without any severe side effects. She has resumed college classes and remained cancer free ever since.