A warm welcome for Nobel Laureate Dr Jim Allison at CICON18
With all the furore and excitement over Dr Jim Allison’s Nobel prize award that hit CICON18 on Monday, it would be fair to say it was the highlight of the conference for many and it was pretty cool to be there in New York at the time.
Aside from the external news, there were also some intriguing developments to report on the CAR T cell therapy front – you might be forgiven for thinking that there’s not much new to say with two products now approved, but I have to point out that this is a very active area of research and there’s much going on here that is well worth highlighting.
Cell therapy is a bit like the twilight zone in the city that never sleeps – there’s a different vibe and energy about this particular research niche in oncology and quite a few new developments to discuss…
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Honolulu: At the BMT Tandem meeting that ended yesterday in Hawaii, one of the hot topics was CAR T Cell Therapy. This should, perhaps, come as no surprise to readers given that bone marrow transplanters are not only the investigators doing the clinical trials, but will be the initial target market for this product.
One of the pioneers in the development of adoptive cellular therapy is Michael Jensen (pictured) who is Director, Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Seattle Children’s Research Institute (SCRI) and the Sinegal Endowed Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr Jensen is also a scientific co-founder of Juno Therapeutics, Inc.
He’s been doing research in the field for over 20 years, and told me that not so long ago there would only be a handful of people in the room for a CAR T cell presentation!
In a plenary scientific session at the Tandem meeting, he presented to over 3,000 attendees on “CD19-Specific CAR T Cells as a Post-ALLO HSCT Relapse Salvage Therapy.”
After his presentation, he kindly spoke with BSB. This post describes some of the key take-homes from his talk.
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