Pennsylvania Bio to Feature Emily Whitehead’s Story about Overcoming Cancer

Emily Whitehead (Photo by Theresa Dunlap)

Emily Whitehead (Photo by Theresa Dunlap)

WAYNE – Pennsylvania Bio, the statewide trade association representing Pennsylvania’s life sciences industry, will feature the parents of pediatric cancer survivor, Emily Whitehead, at the Life Sciences Future conference on Nov. 13, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

Emily’s parents, Tom and Kari, will share their daughter’s story of becoming the first pediatric patient in the world to have her own T-cells genetically modified to fight cancer in an experimental clinical trial at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

“Emily’s inspiring story is testament to our researcher’s ability to develop life-saving treatments,” said Christopher P. Molineaux, president and chief executive officer of Pennsylvania Bio. “Emily’s case exemplifies the power of academic research at Penn and medical care at CHOP, ultimately saving a young girl’s life. The fact Emily lives in the State College area makes this a uniquely Pennsylvania story.”

Emily was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in May of 2010 at the Hershey Medical Center when she was 5 years old. Doctors said she had an 85 percent chance of being cured, but Emily relapsed in October of 2011.

After several months of aggressive treatment, Emily’s parents were told that there weren’t any options left; however, they had heard about an upcoming clinical trial at CHOP. In April of 2012, Emily was enrolled in a Phase I clinical trial at CHOP. It was a highly experimental treatment, but it was Emily’s only chance for survival. The treatment was a success. Emily has been in remission since May of 2012.

For more information on Life Sciences Future, visit http://lifesciencesfuture.com.

About Pennsylvania Bio

Pennsylvania Bio is the statewide trade association for the life sciences in Pennsylvania and serves as a catalyst to ensure Pennsylvania is the global leader in the biosciences by creating a cohesive community that unites our biotechnology, medical device, diagnostic, pharmaceutical, research, and financial strengths. More information is available at www.pabio.org.

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