Lucy was just five months old when she was first diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She achieved remission after a year of chemotherapy, but then relapsed.
“Lucy had really awful side effects from chemotherapy,” said her mother, Kenda. “We just didn’t want her to go through that again and we were hoping we could avoid a bone marrow transplant.”
Lucy’s oncologist in St. Louis, Mo., suggested the family meet with Rebecca Gardner, a Seattle Children’s Hospital oncologist and the lead researcher on the PLAT-02 immunotherapy trial, which has seen a 93 percent success rate. Immunotherapy involves reprogramming some of the body’s t cells to seek out and destroy cancer and is the treatment that inspired Strong Against Cancer.
Lucy was accepted into the trial and received her t cells about a month later. The 2-year-old is now in complete remission.
“We feel so lucky that this trial was available and that Lucy got in,” Kenda said. “We’re really hoping this is it for her and that she’s cured.”