On February 14, 2016, Dr. Stanley Riddell, an immunotherapy researcher and oncologist at Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC), presented an update on new adoptive T-cell strategies for cancer at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington, D.C. His presentation was part of a symposium on the promise and progress of T-cell therapy to fight human diseases. For more than 25 years, Dr. Riddell has pioneered experimental therapies that modify and empower the immune system to effectively treat cancers and infectious diseases. In preliminary results of clinical trials using the latest version of an experimental immunotherapy - T cells engineered with chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) – Dr. Riddell and his colleagues have seen "sustained regression" in many previously relapsing and treatment-resistant cases of B-cell malignancies: acute lymphoblastic leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. CARs are synthetic receptors that are delivered and linked to T-cells by gene transfer techniques in order to redirect T-cell recognition to cancer cells. By introducing the CARs into specialized subsets of T cells, a potent and long-lasting immune response against the tumor can be achieved. The studies are funded by Juno Therapeutics, which was initially formed based on technology from researchers at the FHCRC, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) and Seattle Children's Research Institute in ordert to commercialize promising immunotherapies. "The merging of gene therapy, synthetic biology, and cell biology is providing new treatment options for patients with refractory malignancies and represents a novel class of therapeutics with the potential to transform cancer care," Dr.
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