Hackensack Meridian Health Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital Offers Novel Therapies to Treat Pediatric Cancer Patients


The Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Program Offers CAR (Chimeric Antigen Receptor) T-cell Therapy for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Among Other Firsts

Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital is the only certified center in New Jersey to offer CAR (Chimeric Antigen Receptor) T-cell therapy, or Kymriah™, to pediatric patients.

The hospital’s Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Program is among a select number of treatment centers in the U.S. to be certified by Novartis Pharmaceuticals to administer Tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah™). ‬‬‬‬‬

Approved by the FDA in August 2017, this new approach is offering the promise of complete remission to many patients previously thought to be incurable. Of note, the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center played a pivotal role in the research that led to the approval of Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy.

Additionally, the Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Program, led by Alfred Gillio, M.D. is introducing a new trial for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) called CASSIOPEIA, which will be using CAR T-cell therapy for patients who are in remission but at very high risk for relapse. This is a pivotal trial because CAR T-cell therapy has only been used for patients whose leukemia has already relapsed. This new study will investigate if introducing CAR T-cell earlier may help prevent relapses. Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital is the only study site in New Jersey and one of 40 sites in the country.

Learn more about advances in pediatric oncology happening at Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital by visiting: