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Hackensack Meridian partners with Novartis on immunotherapy

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Hackensack Meridian Health’s Hackensack University Medical Center has formed a collaborative venture with Novartis Pharmaceuticals to launch its pediatric oncology immunotherapy program.

The program will be offered at Hackensack Meridian’s Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital.

Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that is growing in popularity, as it generally conditions the human immune system to fight cancer cells.

“This program helps to further our commitment to provide the highest quality, human-centered care,” said Dr. Ihor Sawczuk, president of Hackensack University Medical Center, in a written statement. “We will offer this new treatment option for some of our pediatric cancer patients.”

Hackensack Meridian’s John Theurer Cancer Center was chosen as the only hospital in the state to offer CAR-T therapy, a newly approved therapy by the US Food and Drug Administration for B-cell lymphoma, a relatively rare type of leukemia. 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).

“John Theurer Cancer Center has been involved in CAR-T cell therapy research for nearly a decade,” said Dr. André Goy, executive director of the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center. “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.”

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Vince Calio

Vince Calio

Vince Calio covers health care and manufacturing for NJBIZ. You can contact him at vcalio@njbiz.com.

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