Seattle Children’s Hospital launches high-risk leukemia program

Todd M. Cooper

Seattle Children’s Hospital launched a first-of-its-kind high-risk leukemia program, with the goal of redefining care for children with leukemia who did not respond to or relapsed after treatment.

Program participants will be cared for by a multidisciplinary team of physicians who will use state-of-the-art diagnostic tests to match children with the latest treatments in clinical trials.

“From an institutional perspective, the high-risk leukemia program is an incredible way to collaborate with each other and remove all the barriers of communication that we have as physicians and that patients have when they are in the midst of the many different hospital visits,” Todd M. Cooper, DO, director of the pediatric leukemia/lymphoma program and Evans family endowed chair in pediatric cancer at Seattle Children’s Hospital, told HemOnc Today. “Scientifically, we also have the opportunity to have some of the world’s top leukemia experts sitting around one table to study each individual child’s leukemia and figure out the best way to treat each individual leukemia.”

HemOnc Today spoke with Cooper about the program, who it will serve and the types of treatments it will offer.

Question: How did the idea for this program come about?

Answer: This program is the result of many years of experience treating children with leukemia and their families. Although no two patients are the same, these families all have one thing in common — questions. As one can expect, there are so many questions related to a diagnosis or relapse, and these families are reaching out in so many directions for answers. There is so much to navigate with the various visits with transplant doctors and subspecialists.

 

Q: Who will the program serve?

A: We are including pediatric patients with leukemia who are high risk based upon biology at diagnosis and their response to therapy. The program also will include those who have relapsed or have not responded to therapy. We plan to include all children for whom stem cell transplant is an option, as well as those for whom we can offer immunotherapies and other treatments included in phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials. The overall goal of this program is to present patients and their families with their treatment options in a way that is as comprehensive as possible. Finding a way to develop a specialized, multidisciplinary comprehensive clinic for these families so that they can be presented with all treatment options under one roof is going to be incredibly helpful for them.

 

Q: How will the program work?

A: We will have a single portal of entry for patients, both internally and externally, and a common intake system. Through this single way of entering, we will have the ability to communicate directly with families and patients and get all the information needed to bring the patients in to see us. Patients can come to Seattle Children’s Hospital from their home institution as a consultative service. Each child and family will have the opportunity to see a specialized leukemia physician, a stem cell transplant expert and appropriate subspecialists, such as cardio-oncology and infectious disease experts. Patients will be seen with the entire multidisciplinary team in the morning, followed by the opportunity each afternoon to sit around a table and discuss each case with all physicians, nurse practitioners and support staff. We also will perform next-generation genomic sequencing on each patient and discuss results and treatment options with pathology and treating physicians. From these meetings, we will produce a formal plan for the families and referring providers. Patients who receive treatment at Seattle Children’s Hospital will be followed weekly by their leukemia or transplant teams and then follow up with the high-risk leukemia team at important times during their treatment course.

 

Q: What are some of the new treatments that will be offered with the program?

A: Seattle is the only program in the country that is developing an academic-based pipeline of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapies specifically for children, and this is one of the treatments that will be offered with the program. In addition, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center is leading the development of other T-cell-based cellular therapies, and all children will be evaluated for these groundbreaking treatments. We also have an extremely robust phase 1 program and a number of industry partners for which we have trials open. In some cases, if we identify a target for which a drug is not available on clinical trial, we will work with regulatory authorities to provide novel therapies on a compassionate-use basis when possible.

 

Q: Is there anything else that you would like to mention?

A: This is a unique program that will address an unmet need for both children with leukemia and their families. Our team is dedicated to doing everything we can to improve outcomes for our patients and we hope this program will create a new model of care for high-risk patients. – by Jennifer Southall

 

For more information:

Todd M. Cooper, DO, can be reached at Seattle Children’s Hospital, 4800 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105; email: todd.cooper@seattlechildrens.org.

 

Disclosure: Cooper reports no relevant financial disclosures.

Todd M. Cooper

Seattle Children’s Hospital launched a first-of-its-kind high-risk leukemia program, with the goal of redefining care for children with leukemia who did not respond to or relapsed after treatment.

Program participants will be cared for by a multidisciplinary team of physicians who will use state-of-the-art diagnostic tests to match children with the latest treatments in clinical trials.

“From an institutional perspective, the high-risk leukemia program is an incredible way to collaborate with each other and remove all the barriers of communication that we have as physicians and that patients have when they are in the midst of the many different hospital visits,” Todd M. Cooper, DO, director of the pediatric leukemia/lymphoma program and Evans family endowed chair in pediatric cancer at Seattle Children’s Hospital, told HemOnc Today. “Scientifically, we also have the opportunity to have some of the world’s top leukemia experts sitting around one table to study each individual child’s leukemia and figure out the best way to treat each individual leukemia.”

HemOnc Today spoke with Cooper about the program, who it will serve and the types of treatments it will offer.

Question: How did the idea for this program come about?

Answer: This program is the result of many years of experience treating children with leukemia and their families. Although no two patients are the same, these families all have one thing in common — questions. As one can expect, there are so many questions related to a diagnosis or relapse, and these families are reaching out in so many directions for answers. There is so much to navigate with the various visits with transplant doctors and subspecialists.

 

Q: Who will the program serve?

A: We are including pediatric patients with leukemia who are high risk based upon biology at diagnosis and their response to therapy. The program also will include those who have relapsed or have not responded to therapy. We plan to include all children for whom stem cell transplant is an option, as well as those for whom we can offer immunotherapies and other treatments included in phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials. The overall goal of this program is to present patients and their families with their treatment options in a way that is as comprehensive as possible. Finding a way to develop a specialized, multidisciplinary comprehensive clinic for these families so that they can be presented with all treatment options under one roof is going to be incredibly helpful for them.

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Q: How will the program work?

A: We will have a single portal of entry for patients, both internally and externally, and a common intake system. Through this single way of entering, we will have the ability to communicate directly with families and patients and get all the information needed to bring the patients in to see us. Patients can come to Seattle Children’s Hospital from their home institution as a consultative service. Each child and family will have the opportunity to see a specialized leukemia physician, a stem cell transplant expert and appropriate subspecialists, such as cardio-oncology and infectious disease experts. Patients will be seen with the entire multidisciplinary team in the morning, followed by the opportunity each afternoon to sit around a table and discuss each case with all physicians, nurse practitioners and support staff. We also will perform next-generation genomic sequencing on each patient and discuss results and treatment options with pathology and treating physicians. From these meetings, we will produce a formal plan for the families and referring providers. Patients who receive treatment at Seattle Children’s Hospital will be followed weekly by their leukemia or transplant teams and then follow up with the high-risk leukemia team at important times during their treatment course.

 

Q: What are some of the new treatments that will be offered with the program?

A: Seattle is the only program in the country that is developing an academic-based pipeline of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapies specifically for children, and this is one of the treatments that will be offered with the program. In addition, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center is leading the development of other T-cell-based cellular therapies, and all children will be evaluated for these groundbreaking treatments. We also have an extremely robust phase 1 program and a number of industry partners for which we have trials open. In some cases, if we identify a target for which a drug is not available on clinical trial, we will work with regulatory authorities to provide novel therapies on a compassionate-use basis when possible.

 

Q: Is there anything else that you would like to mention?

A: This is a unique program that will address an unmet need for both children with leukemia and their families. Our team is dedicated to doing everything we can to improve outcomes for our patients and we hope this program will create a new model of care for high-risk patients. – by Jennifer Southall

 

For more information:

Todd M. Cooper, DO, can be reached at Seattle Children’s Hospital, 4800 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105; email: todd.cooper@seattlechildrens.org.

 

Disclosure: Cooper reports no relevant financial disclosures.