Tag Archive: Gene therapy
By Nancy McCann
Editor’s note: Welcome to our new blog series, “Off Campus.” Here you’ll discover what our amazing Research Institute employees do for fun, recreation, and the good of their communities once they leave the city behind. And if you know someone in your department or lab with a fascinating hobby or interest, we’d like to hear about it!
by Nancy McCann
Editor’s Note: This occasional blog series features stories of CHOP research heroes who have participated in clinical research studies. Without the generosity and dedication of families, patients, and members of the public who take the time to be a part of research, many trials would not succeed.
The alarm rings annoyingly loud at 6:30 a.m. Megan Payne knows she must rise with that blaring beep, or else the day goes haywire. With five young children to monitor, mornings are a blur of making breakfasts, packing lunches, brushing hair, and searching for lost homework before four kids leave the house at different times to board different buses to attend different schools. Only her youngest, 3-year-old Jaxson, remains behind. Oh, and Megan works three jobs and is a college student studying Environmental Science. Whew.
Bundled up in winter clothes from head to toe, 7-year-old Eric rolls a snowball around the backyard with his older brother, building it into a sizeable snowman. Mom, watching from her perch at the kitchen window, can hear her boys laughing — until — Eric doubles over in acute chest pain, crying out for her. Rushing to his side, she wonders how many more of these excruciating episodes and trips to the hospital Eric can endure.
The end of the year inevitably arrives with a handful of things to celebrate, from memorable moments to astounding achievements to milestones made. With less than three weeks left in 2018, our list of celebratory moments at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute continues to grow, as this edition of our biweekly research news roundup shows. Read on to learn about two gene therapies pioneered at CHOP and the University of Pennsylvania that recently reached important milestones, a novel discovery from our scientists that could help to improve cancer immunotherapies, the 10-year anniversary of our Center for Autism Research, and more.
For more than 20 years, researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania have been at the forefront of taking a system perfected by nature — a virus — and transforming it into breakthrough gene therapies for rare single-gene diseases. CHOP was the first pediatric research institution to develop chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. In this approach, viral vectors are used to modify a patient’s own T cells, training them to track down and eliminate the circulating cancer cells.
Fall weather and football season have returned to us here at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute, bringing with them a fresh batch of research headlines. In this edition of our biweekly news roundup, catch up on the latest announcements for the second annual Eagles Autism Challenge, learn about new insights into the role mitochondrial DNA plays in heart disease progression, and stay updated on how CHOP helps to drive medical innovation and entrepreneurship forward in the Philadelphia community and beyond.
Editor’s Note: Jacqueline Hunter, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Wolfe Laboratory, wrote this article as part of the Advanced Career Exploration (ACE) Fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute. The ACE program gives fellows the opportunity to pursue projects beyond their main research focus. We’re especially excited to share Dr. Hunter’s work during National Postdoc Appreciation Week.
Normally, the body responds to a bleeding event by forming a clot, which is a complicated process involving multiple proteins in an elegantly orchestrated cascade. When specific proteins of this cascade are absent, one of several debilitating disorders can occur that result in recurrent spontaneous bleeding into the joints and muscles. Researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia are using clever maneuvering to figure out new therapeutic options for patients with hemophilia A and B.
Along with the start of school and settling into new routines, September marks Childhood Cancer Awareness Month: a special time to support cancer research and care for patients and families impacted by the disease. Fittingly, this week’s roundup of research news highlights the remarkable impact our oncologists have made for children with cancer around the world. And on top of that, we highlight new findings that challenge the traditional notion of the teen years as a reckless time of risky behavior.