NASHVILLE, Tennessee (February 29, 2016) -- Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center investigators have used a cancer patients own re-engineered immune cells to treat a form of blood cancer by stimulating the immune system.
The new CAR-T investigational therapy (known as KTE-C19) is being studied in a clinical trial for patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL). The trial, called ZUMA-1, is open to certain patients whose disease has progressed despite previous therapies.
NHL is one of the most common forms of cancer, with nearly 72,000 patients diagnosed every year in the United States.
KTE-C19 is an ingenious way of using the immune system to treat cancer, said Olalekan Oluwole, M.D., MBBS, MPH, principal investigator for the Phase 1/Phase 2 trial, which is sponsored by Kite Pharma, Inc. The approach enables the patients immune system to more effectively recognize lymphoma and attack it in a way thats similar to how the bodys immune system fights dangerous bacteria and viruses.
As part of the ZUMA-1 clinical trial, the patients own T-cells (a type of immune cell) are collected in an outpatient setting. The T-cells are sent to a special manufacturing facility where they are re-engineered to produce special receptors on their surface called chimeric antigen receptors (CARs). These CAR proteins enable the T-cells to recognize a specific protein on tumor cells.
Vanderbilt-Ingram is the first cancer center in Tennessee to treat a patient with Kites KTE-C19.
KTE-C19 is in the registrational stage of development under the Breakthrough Therapy Designation granted by FDA, which recognizes its potential to bring a substantial improvement over existing therapy in aggressive NHL, said David Chang, M.D., Ph.D., Kite's executive vice president, Research and Development, and chief medical officer. Kite is honored to be working with VICC and its investigators who have demonstrated a striking commitment to the advancement of therapies with the potential to transform the lives of patients with cancer.
The environment at Vanderbilt fosters a seamless integrated approach among experts in hematological malignancies and stem cell transplant to offer these state-of-the-art therapies to potentially benefit patients and make scientific advances, said Madan Jagasia, MBBS, M.S., who leads Hematology and Stem Cell Transplant at Vanderbilt-Ingram and directs the Outpatient Stem Cell Tranpslant Program. Jagasia also is a co-leader of Vanderbilt-Ingram's Translational Research and Interventional Oncology Research Program.
We are very excited about the promise of immunotherapy for patients with a variety of blood disorders, and the opportunity to first offer this to patients with refractory aggressive B-cell lymphoma, a disease with limited effective treatment options, is very gratifying, said Michael Savona, M.D., associate professor of Medicine and director of the Hematology Early Therapeutics Program at Vanderbilt-Ingram.
Learn more about cancer clnical trials offered at Vanderbilt-Ingram.
Learn more about the ZUMA-1 (NCT02348216) trial and other clinical trials.