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Total Therapy Study XVII

Questions about Total XVII?

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Cook Children's Hematology and Oncology team is proud to be participating with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Total Therapy Study XVII, or Total XVII, a new clinical research trial for newly diagnosed patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute lymphoblastic lymphoma (LLy).

This new investigational therapy follows an earlier study Cook Children’s participated in called Total XV. Because of the great success of Cook Children's work on that study, we've been invited by St. Jude to participate in Total XVII, with a select group of three health care institutions.

What is Total XVII?

The goal of Total XVII is to improve the cure rate and quality of life of children with ALL and LLy, by using precision medicine and targeted treatment approaches. Also, by using the most state-of-the-art gene sequencing techniques, each child's leukemic cells will be analyzed individually. With this method, we aim to identify specific genetic and molecular targets that may be treatable with inhibitor medications and immunotherapies. Creating a personalized treatment plan for each patient, means the treatment can most effectively destroy the patient's specific leukemia cells while sparing them unnecessary side effects from less effective therapies.

Dr. Heym with patient

Total Therapy Study XVII

Dr. Kenneth Heym Medical Director, Oncology Program, Cook Children's Medical Center, talks about our participation in a new Total Therapy XVII clinical research trial. This important investigational research is currently the best available targeted therapy for ALL and LLy cancers.

The Incredible Promise of Total Therapy XVII

How Total XVII works

These newer treatment approaches will be combined with chemotherapy as used in prior Total Therapy studies which produced the highest cure rates ever reported for childhood ALL. Total XVII will also examine whether certain modifications to this chemotherapy can potentially decrease short and long term side effects from the chemotherapy, and maximize the quality of life for survivors of ALL and LLy. These include a new approach in dosing conventional chemotherapy drugs based on underlying genetic characteristics of each patient. It also includes immunologic-based therapy attempting to decrease the rates of allergic reactions to critical anti-leukemia medications. This will allow therapy to be tailored individually so each child receives the treatment they need, while minimizing additional risks. We will also investigate risk factors for infection and methods to prevent them while patients are receiving therapy. In addition we will examine the impact of treatment on neurocognitive ability and bone health of children.

The most important breakthrough in predicting which patients with ALL will have better outcomes has been the use of minimal residual disease (MRD) monitoring. By using very specific and precise molecular and immunologic techniques, very small amounts of leukemia can be measured at different time points during therapy and patients who are not responding as well and need to have their treatment intensified can be identified early on and their outcomes can be significantly improved. Total XVII will utilize the most advanced gene sequencing-based methods to monitor low levels of MRD in the blood, bone marrow and cerebrospinal fluid of patients with ALL and LLy.

New hope for kids with ALL and LLy

Total XVII will further improve upon the current best available therapy for ALL and LLy by utilizing the most advanced genomic sequencing techniques to identify targetable lesions in each individual patient's leukemia cells. Novel molecular and immunologic agents will be added to standard therapy to maximize cure rates and minimize long and short term side effects.

Cook Children's Hematology and Oncology Center is pleased to be able to offer this advanced, targeted therapy to patients in Fort Worth and the surrounding region.

Improving cancer outcomes through research

As key collaborators with the nation's leading pediatric research organizations, we offer the best available treatments and actively contribute to the search for a cure. Our ultimate goal is to erase kid cancer.

Meet our principal investigator

Kenneth M. Heym, M.D., Medical Director, Oncology Program, specializes in treating childhood cancer and is very active in lymphoma and leukemia research. Get to know Dr. Heym and see what research programs he is currently active in.

Questions about Total XVII?

Email Kenneth Heym, M.D., at

If you are interested in learning more about this or any of our other open clinical research trials, please contact Cook Children’s Hematology and Oncology Center at 682-885-4007.

View the full list of active research studies at Cook Children’s: Active Research Projects.