New Programming Approach Produces Alloreactive T Cells That Destroy Leukemia Without Added Risk of GvHD

May 19, 2016

PHILADELPHIA (May 19, 2016) — Researchers from Fox Chase Cancer Center and Temple University have developed a cellular programming approach that creates alloreactive T cells that are able to eliminate leukemic cells without causing graft versus host disease (GvHD).

Yi Zhang, MDYi Zhang, MDUsing mouse models, the researchers developed a novel approach to improve the desired outcome of allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and anti-leukemia therapy. Using the cell culture of the donor key immune cell, they were able to develop an approach to reduce the toxicities in alloreactive T cells causing GvHD while still preserving the anti-leukemia activity of the immune cell.

The paper detailing their work was published in the journal Blood, a publication of the American Society of Hematology, on May 3.

“This approach will be useful in the future when developing novel methods for immunotherapy,” said senior study author Yi Zhang, MD, a member of the Fox Chase Epigenetics Program and a senior scientist at Fel’s Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology at Temple University. “This system will not only be useful for reducing GvHD but can also be used in the identification of T cells for the improvement of other types of immunotherapy for advanced cancer.”

Fox Chase Cancer Center (Fox Chase), which includes the Institute for Cancer Research and the American Oncologic Hospital and is a part of Temple Health, is one of the leading comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase is also one of just 10 members of the Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence five consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. It is the policy of Fox Chase Cancer Center that there shall be no exclusion from, or participation in, and no one denied the benefits of, the delivery of quality medical care on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, disability, age, ancestry, color, national origin, physical ability, level of education, or source of payment.


For more information, call 888-369-2427

Connect with Fox Chase