Both had been treated and had then relapsed, said Stephan Grupp, director of Translational Research in the Center for Childhood Cancer Research at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
presented research on their care at the hematology meeting.
One of the girls has been in complete remission in the eight months since her
The other had a remission of "a few months" before relapsing again, Grupp
The younger girl had severe side-effects.
Previous studies have documented severe, flu-like illness in patients treated with their pumped-up immune cells.
The 7-year-old's severe reaction helped explain what was happening, Grupp
levels of an inflammatory protein called IL-6 were very high, 998 times her
group treated her
Actemra, approved for rheumatoid arthritis, which targets the protein.
levels of another inflammatory protein called TNF were high, she
was also treated with Amgen
and Pfizer's Enbrel.
"The next morning, she
was dramatically better," Grupp