News about the UNC Lineberger Cellular Immunotherapy Program and its faculty
Engineered safety switch curbs severe side effects of CAR-T immunotherapy
Led by Matthew Foster, MD, UNC Lineberger researchers have successfully used an experimental safety switch, incorporated as part of CAR-T therapy, to reduce the severity of treatment side effects that sometimes occur. This advance was seen in a patient enrolled in a clinical trial using CAR-T to treat refractory acute B-cell leukemia. It demonstrates a proof-of-principle for possible expanded use of CAR-T immunotherapy paired with the safety switch.
European Medicines Agency awards priority designation for Hodgkin lymphoma CAR-T therapy
The designation enables Tessa Therapeutics to expediate clinical development of this novel therapy, which was developed using research advances made by UNC Lineberger members Barbara Savoldo, MD, PhD, and Gianpietro Dotti, MD.
Study points the way to boosting immunotherapy effectiveness against breast cancer and other solid tumors
CAR-T therapy has proven effective for some blood cancers. New research by Jonathan S. Serody, MD, and colleagues suggests ways to use it effectively to attack solid tumors, such as breast cancers.
Excellent research results for CAR-T therapy against Hodgkin lymphoma
CAR-T immunotherapy has been used to treat Hodgkin lymphoma with remarkable success for the first time, according to the results of an early phase clinical trial led by researchers at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. The treatment led to the complete disappearance of tumor in the majority of patients treated at the highest dose level of therapy with almost all patients having clinical benefit after treatment.
CAR-T immunotherapy studied at UNC Lineberger receives fast-track designation from FDA
An investigational therapy for Hodgkin lymphoma received a Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Researchers develop method to engineer immune cells so they grow even in hostile tumors
Tumors can create a hostile environment for cancer-fighting immune cells. In a new study, UNC Lineberger researchers have developed a method for engineering immune cells to improve their survival and proliferation, even within a hostile tumor. Researchers led by UNC Lineberger’s Gianpietro Dotti, MD, report in the journal Nature.
UNC Lineberger discovery would allow researchers to fine-tune activity of cancer-hunting immune cells
A discovery by UNC Lineberger researchers could allow scientists to fine-tune genetically engineered immune cells to heighten their killing power against tumors or to decrease their activity level in the case of severe side effects. Researchers led by UNC Lineberger’s Gianpietro Dotti, MD, report in Cancer Cell.
Lung Cancer Initiative awards research grant to Du to investigate novel treatment
The Lung Cancer Initiative of North Carolina awarded The Vicky Amidon Innovation in Lung Cancer Research Award to Hongwei Du, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at UNC Lineberger.
Stand Up To Cancer names UNC Lineberger researchers to ‘Dream Team’
Stand Up To Cancer announced it has awarded an $8 million grant to a top team of scientists to develop therapies that use a person’s immune cells to recognize and attack T-cell lymphoma, a group of rare cancers of the blood and immune system. Helen Heslop, MD, of Baylor College of Medicine, will direct the team and the UNC Lineberger’s Gianpietro Dotti, MD, will serve as co-leader.
Researchers identify experimental immunotherapy approach to target acute myeloid leukemia
UNC Lineberger researchers have identified a potential way to target a subtype of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) using CAR-T therapy, a form of immunotherapy in which patients’ immune cells are genetically engineered to recognize and track their cancer.
Study shows promise for fighting relapsed blood cancer with CAR-T immunotherapy, chemotherapy
UNC Lineberger researchers reported promising early results from a clinical study of an investigational cellular immunotherapy that used patients’ own, genetically engineered immune cells to recognize and fight Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
The Mary Kay Foundation awards UNC Lineberger $100,000 cancer research grant
UNC Lineberger’s Gianpietro Dotti, MD, will use the $100,000 grant to conduct research into the use of cellular immunotherapy to treat solid tumors such as neuroblastoma, glioblastoma, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer and triple negative breast cancer.
Dotti awarded grant to launch early immunotherapy studies for ovarian cancer
UNC Lineberger’s Gianpietro Dotti, MD, has received a grant for early laboratory studies into a method to attack ovarian cancer by genetically modifying a person’s own immune cells – specifically T-cells – to recognize ovarian cancer.
Researchers identify molecular target for brain cancer, develop immunotherapy approach to attack it
A team led by UNC Lineberger’s Gianpietro Dotti, MD, has engineered immune cells to hunt glioblastoma, the most lethal primary brain tumor. They presented their findings in Science Translational Medicine.
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society awards grant to Savoldo for immunotherapy research
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society grant will help fund clinical research led by UNC Lineberger’s Barbara Savoldo, MD, PhD, into an investigational chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia that would include a built-in “safety switch.”
UNC Lineberger launches innovative cellular immunotherapy program
UNC Lineberger researchers have achieved a major milestone with the launch of two clinical trials testing an experimental therapy in which patients’ own immune cells are genetically engineered to fight their cancer.
Vs. Cancer funds pediatric cancer research
Chase Jones, who was successfully treated for stage IV brain cancer at UNC Lineberger, started the Vs. Cancer Foundation with the goal of fundraising for pediatric cancer research and supporting the needs of patients and families during treatment. Since 2013, Vs. Cancer has provided UNC Lineberger with more than $245,000 in grants, including the most recent gift of $115,000 to support pediatric cellular immunotherapy trials and research, and specifically, the work of Barbara Savoldo, MD, PhD.