Lynsie Conradi's Leukemia Clears Up After Experimental Cancer Treatment: T-Cell Therapy May Be Pinnacle Of Cancer Research

Lynsie Conradi
One of the first patients enrolled in a treatment program for people with a rare form of cancer, Lynsie Conradi is now free of leukemia. Facebook

Doctors in Seattle have reported a true milestone for cancer research after 23-year-old Lynsie Conradi, who was enrolled in a cellular immunotherapy Phase I cancer trial at Seattle Children's Hospital, was cleared of her leukemia diagnosis.

This experimental form of treatment, also known as T-Cell therapy, entails removing a sample of the patient's blood in order to rewire "infection-fighting" T-cells so that they are better equipped to fend off cancerous cells.

"T-cell therapy will change the way we treat cancer," said Donna Rainford, Lynsie'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!"

Patients enrolled in Seattle Children's clinical trials suffer from a rare form of cancer known as acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Patients are chosen after a negative response to chemotherapy and if they have less than a 20-percent chance of survival.

Affecting blood and bone marrow, acute lymphocytic leukemia is known for its rapid progression and creation of immature blood cells. It is considered more common in childhood, and treatments become less effective as patients get older.

Lynsie was included in the study after her second relapse with leukemia earlier this year and her body's failure to react to a chemotherapy regimen. Just seven days after entering the research program, a subsequent test of Lynsie's bone marrow revealed the sudden absence of leukemia. 

"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," said Rebecca Gardner, M.D., principal investigator for the clinical trial.

All that's left for the Bellingham, Wash. native is a final stem cell transplant to ensure that her body is ride of any cancerous invaders.

"This is really amazing. I mean this is the sort of result that we wait around all of our careers to see, to see this kind of dramatic response that we couldn't have hoped for even five or ten years ago," said Dr. Doug Hawkins, a cancer specialist at Seattle Children's.

Join the Discussion