Luke returned to Houston from KC June 5. The doctors at Children’s Mercy Hospital in KC monitored him for four weeks after infusion of the CART cells. They took labs 2-3 times a week.
At the four week point they took a bone marrow sample and drew spinal fluid.
KC did a flow cytometery on the bone marrow. The flow cytometry picked up no leukemia cells and the pathologist saw nothing suspicious in the biopsy. The bone marrow sample was sent to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for additional lab testing required for the clinical trial. The results from CHOP came back today and confirmed there was no leukemia!!. Luke’s other labs were good. Noting bad showed up in his blood or spinal fluid. Kidney function was good. Liver results were not perfect but nothing the doctors were concerned with.
Luke was thrilled to finally have his PICC line removed and become tube free. He’s actually has put on weight and admitted he might need to do a few sit-ups. He is hopeful of returning to school in the fall.
What’s left is to wait and see. For the next three months Luke is scheduled to return to KC for labs as part the monitoring requirements of the clinical trial. The doctors will be watching for B-cells in his blood/bone marrow as that a sign the CART-cells are no longer active and the cancer has returned.
Knowing that the CART-cells are multiplying and killing the leukemic B-cells is truly great news.
The initial results from the clinical trial are encouraging but the study doctors let you know the first patient was treated only 2.5 years ago and no one knows what to expect long term. Hopefully the “asshat” is dead, long live the CART-cells!