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Hackensack University Medical Center Collaborates with Novartis on Groundbreaking Pediatric Oncology Immunotherapy Program
Story Number is : 120417115
Hackensack University Medical Center

Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center is pleased to announce participation in a groundbreaking pediatric oncology immunotherapy program, provided in collaboration with Novartis Pharmaceuticalsas a member of a network of certified treatment centers.

As the only hospital in New Jersey offering the Novartis CAR-T Cell therapy, this program will be offered at the Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital.

“This program helps to further our commitment to provide the highest quality, human-centered care,” said Ihor S. Sawczuk, M.D., FACS, president of Hackensack University Medical Center. “We will offer this new treatment option for some of our pediatric cancer patients.”

The first CAR-T Cell therapy, Kymriah, was recently approved by the FDA to treat children and young adults who have a challenging form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
“This program will target a common childhood leukemia. Eligible patients will have exhausted all standard therapies and have refractory disease or have relapsed,” said Alfred P. Gillio, M.D., co-director, Children’s Cancer Institute, section chief, Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation. “This therapy has resulted in long-term remissions in the majority of patients treated to date and is a major advance in the search for a cure for childhood leukemia.”

Immunotherapies, which harness a patient’s immune system to fight disease, offer the promise of cure to many ALL patients previously thought to be incurable. This new approach involves engineering a patient’s own immune cells to recognize and attack cancer.

“John Theurer Cancer Center has been involved in CAR-T cell therapy research for nearly a decade,” said André Goy, MD, MS, chair and executive director of the John Theurer Cancer Center (JTCC) at Hackensack University Medical Center, which is part of Hackensack Meridian Health. Dr. Goy is also chief of the Lymphoma Division at JTCC and is a professor of medicine at Georgetown University. “This new therapeutic modality represents the first gene modified cell based live therapy approved and will radically change the paradigm in several subtypes of hematological malignancies or blood cancers.”

Hackensack University Medical Center is one of 31 treatment centers nationwide.

For more information about Kymriah therapy at Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center please call 1-551-996-5600.

The Tackle Kids Cancer campaign, a philanthropic program benefitting the Children’s Cancer Institute at Hackensack University Medical Center, helps to make research, treatment and therapeutic programs possible for pediatric cancer patients. To learn more, please visit:

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