HACKENSACK, N.J., Nov. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center is pleased to announce participation in a groundbreaking pediatric oncology immunotherapy program, provided in collaboration with Novartis Pharmaceuticals as a member of a network of certified treatment centers.

Hackensack University Medical Center (PRNewsFoto/Hackensack UMC)

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. Learn more at: www.tacklekidscancer.org.

About Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center
Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center, a 775-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county’s first hospital, it is now part of one of the largest networks in the state comprised of 28,000 team members and more than 6,000 physicians. Hackensack University Medical Center was listed as the number one hospital in New Jersey in U.S. News & World Report’s 2017-18 Best Hospital rankings – maintaining its place atop the NJ rankings since the rating system was introduced. It was also named one of the top four New York Metro Area hospitals. Hackensack University Medical Center is one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more years in a row. Becker’s Hospital Review recognized Hackensack University Medical Center as one of the 100 Great Hospitals in America 2017. The medical center is one of the top 25 green hospitals in the country according to Practice Greenhealth, and received 23 Gold Seals of Approval™ by The Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its fifth consecutive designation in 2014. Hackensack University Medical Center has created an entire campus of award-winning care, including: the John Theurer Cancer Center; the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center and listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. Hackensack University Medical Center is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls and is Official Medical Services Provider to The Northern Trust PGA Golf Tournament. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events especially the Tackle Kids Cancer Campaign providing much needed research at the Children’s Cancer Institute housed at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital. To learn more, visit www.HackensackUMC.org.


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