CHS grad working with new cancer therapy | Spotlight

CIRCLEVILLE— A local doctor is just one of a handful of people using a new type of treatment for adults with advanced lymphoma that was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Samantha Jaglowski, a hematologist at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, and a Circleville resident, is using a cancer therapy known as CAR-T. The process modifies a patient’s own white blood cells in a lab and re-trains them to target and kill only cancerous cells.

“This is truly a living therapy,” Jaglowski said. “It’s a patient’s own cells that are reinfused and go to work fighting cancer. This is really the epitome of personalized medicine.”

Jaglowski, a 1998 Circleville High School graduate, said she had always wanted to be a doctor.

“I knew I wanted to be a doctor from the time I was three years old,” she said. “Mom and I moved to Circleville when I was about eight. Graduated from CHS in 1999. I took classes at Ohio State and knew that was the direction I wanted to go. I graduated from Ohio State for Med School and I stayed. I am an OSU lifer at this point and I’m not going anywhere.”

Jaglowski said she discovered she wanted to work with cancer patients during a rotation in the oncology department. She graduated with a zoology degree from Ohio State in 2000 and OSU’s Medical School in 2004.

“When I got into oncology rotations, I loved the patients, and those were the people I wanted to take care of,” she said.

As for the new therapy, Jaglowski said it was developed at the University of Pennsylvania and people who participate are really doing so as a last resort.

“The people who get it don’t have great options,” she said, adding that participants must have previously tried at least two rounds of chemotherapy that didn’t take. “This is a cancer that has a 60 percent cure…

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