NEWS

Matthew Schreindorfer receiving T-cell treatment after crowdfunding $637K

03/02/2015 02:15 EST | Updated 05/02/2015 05:59 EDT
After successfully raising more than $637,000 to participate a last-ditch, potentially life-saving clinical trial, Matthew Schreindorfer is now at New York's Sloan Kettering Memorial Cancer Center receiving an experimental T-cell treatment.

Schreindorfer and wife Katia Luciani started the online crowdfunding campaign just under a month ago after being told that the only shot he had at surviving his acute lymphoblastic leukemia would be to participate in a clinical trial that costs nearly a million dollars.

The illness, known by its acronym ALL, is an aggressive form of cancer that attacks white blood cells and inhibits cells from reproducing in the body. 

Schreindorfer was diagnosed with ALL last August at the age of 24, shortly after returning from his honeymoon with Luciani. Since then, he has undergone all treatments available in Canada for someone with ALL. 

The money raised through the crowdfunding campaign has allowed him to travel to New York City, where he has been receiving treatment since the last week of February. On Feb. 25, Schreindorfer wrote:

"I’m now an outpatient and receiving chemotherapy treatments while my T-cells are being produced in the cell laboratory. I received my first treatment yesterday of a chemotherapy drug called Vincristine, which I have received in some of my past induction treatments.

"All is going well so far, and the side effects should be very tolerable for the next weeks. The sole purpose of this mild chemotherapy, in combination with the cortisone, is to keep the cancer under control until re-infusion time! All in all, I’m feeling good, and taking advantage of this time to relax and regain as much strength as I can."

The trial has so far had a 90 per cent success rate in putting refractory ALL patients into remission, Luciani said in early February. 

She said the treatment involves modifying white blood cells in a lab for about 10 days and then re-injecting the cells into his body.

MORE:cbcNews