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Hackensack University Medical Center to Host Clinical Trial of Leukemia Treatment

Patrick T. Fallon /The Washington Post/Getty Images

This type of stem cell transplant utilizes genetic engineering to spare healthy cells

A new approach to treating the most common form of leukemia is currently in a number of clinical trials — one of which is at the Hackensack University Medical Center.

It’s a new type of stem cell transplant, which is the work of Vor Bio. The company’s president is Doctor Robert Ang.

“What we’re hoping to do is make stem cell transplants that are treatment resistant, so that you can treat the cancer and maybe prevent its return, maybe even aim for cures, in patients who are undergoing regular stem cell transplants,” he said.

This transplant utilizes genetic engineering to protect a patient’s healthy cells from the toxic side effects of targeted cancer treatments so that only cancerous cells are destroyed.

“What’s also interesting about this trial is we’re offering an anti-cancer therapy very soon after their transplant,” he said. “Normally you’d never treat the cancer in that period because if you damage the new transplant you could kill the patient.”

He said this treatment may help those who need help the most.

“This being a totally novel approach, it is particularly suitable for patients who have AML but are at high risk of relapse following a stem cell transplant,” he said.

AML stands for acute myeloid leukemia. People who feel they may be candidates for the trial or know someone who might be should go to Vor Bio dot com for more information.

Ang said he hopes this will revolutionize the standard of care for AML.

Janice Kirkel is a lifelong award-winning journalist who has done everything from network newscasts to national and local sports reports to business newscasts to specialized reporting and editing in technical areas of business and finance such as bankruptcy, capital structure changes and reporting on the business of the investment business.