Niagara Falls 'Miracle' Baby Beats Aggressive Leukemia After Successful CAR-T Cancer Immunotherapy at Roswell Park Oishei Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Program

BUFFALO, N.Y., Oct. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- "She's a bundle of joy, she's a blessing. She's just life." That's what Cariorl Mayfield of Niagara Falls, NY, says about his daughter, Chastity, who was treated at the Roswell Park Oishei Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Program for the leukemia she was diagnosed with at 5 weeks old.

Today, Chastity no signs of cancer after undergoing CAR T therapy, short for chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy — and is one of the youngest patients to receive this advanced cancer treatment. She received a form of CAR T called Kymriah, also known as tisagenlecleucel, which Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center has been a certified treatment center for since 2018.

Chastity's battle with leukemia began in fall 2018. Childhood cancer expert Kara Kelly, MD, from the Roswell Park Oishei Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Program would diagnose Chastity with an aggressive, treatment-resistant blood cancer, acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL).

Chastity faced even greater odds as a Black infant with aggressive leukemia. A 2018 study reported that a Black child with ALL is 43 percent more likely to die than a white child with the same diagnosis.

The team believes Chastity, 7 months old at the time, may be the youngest patient to successfully complete CAR T therapy followed by blood and marrow transplant, or BMT, with long-term remission from cancer.

As she nears her 2nd birthday, Chastity is walking, talking and showing no evidence at all of the leukemia that once wracked her body.

"I look at her as our little miracle," says Dr. Higman.

Learn more about Chastity's journey at https://www.roswellpark.org/newsroom/202010-niagara-falls-miracle-baby-beats-aggressive-leukemia-after-successful-car-t-cancer

About the Roswell Park Oishei Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Program

The Roswell Park Oishei Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Program cares for children using advanced medical technology, with multidisciplinary care that is focused on the needs of the families we serve. We seamlessly operate one of few programs nationally to offer pediatric patients the resources of both a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and a freestanding children's hospital, with outpatient care provided at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and inpatient care at Oishei Children's Hospital. Our research makes a difference in the lives of children treated in our community, nationally and worldwide. To learn more about the Roswell Park Oishei Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Program, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355).

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SOURCE Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

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