New cancer treatment appears to rid patient of leukemia

SEATTLE -- In what appears to be a landmark development, the first leukemia patient in a new cancer treatment study shows no more signs of the disease, Seattle Children's Hospital announced Wednesday.

The patient, Lynsie Conradi, 23, of Bellingham, Wash., who signed up for the study after experiencing a second relapse of leukemia earlier this year, received the news Tuesday, a news release on the hospital’s website said.

The new treatment study -- cellular immunotherapy Phase 1 cancer trial -- involves drawing blood from the patient, reprogramming their infection-fighting T-cells to find and destroy cancer cells, and infusing the blood back into their body.

“Results show that Lynsie has had a positive response to the T-cell therapy and, at this time, we do not detect any leukemia cells,” Dr. Rebecca Gardner, principal investigator for the clinical trial, said.

Gardner said the next step for Conradi is a stem cell transplant, with the aim of clearing any remaining, unseen cancer from her body.

“T-cell therapy will change the way we treat cancer,” said Donna Rainford, Conradi’s mother. “Watching Lyns suffer from the effects of chemo almost two weeks after it’s all done makes me thankful that it will soon be a thing of the past. Bring on those T-cells as part of the normal protocol for other cancer patients.”

Seattle Children’s is currently enrolling patients 18 to 26 years old for the immunotherapy study. Patients admitted into the trial will have experienced relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia, are responding poorly to chemotherapy regimens and have a less than 20 percent chance of survival.

For questions about the immunotherapy cancer trial, contact Seattle Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at 206-987-2106 or, toll-free, 866-987-2000.

Here is the Facebook page for Lynsie Conradi.