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Researchers to Explore Using Patient’s Immune System to Fight Tumors

By News Release


Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey will explore the use of adoptive cell therapy to develop of new cancer treatments based on the administration of cancer-fighting immune cells to patients. Healthy volunteers with no history of cancer are being sought to contribute blood cells that may be used in the development of cancer clinical trials.

The blood cells, collected through a procedure that separates plasma and cells from the blood, will be stored and used to manufacture adoptive cell transfer therapies as part of approved clinical trials and other clinical research that are separate from this study. The role of the healthy volunteer cells is to make the cancer-fighting immune cells collected from patients grow to large numbers in the laboratory so that they can be given as a cancer treatment.

Christian Hinrichs, MD, chief of the Section of Cancer Immunotherapy and co-director of the Duncan and Nancy MacMillan Cancer Immunology and Metabolism Center of Excellence at Rutgers Cancer Institute, is the principal investigator of the study. “Adoptive cell therapy is a living treatment that harnesses the ability of immune cells to multiply and fight cancer in patients. This type of treatment is emerging as an effective, and sometimes curative, strategy for certain cancers that cannot be treated any other way. The availability of cells from healthy volunteers is crucial to ongoing development of these treatments and specifically to the generation of treatments for our patients participating in clinical trials at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey,” notes Dr. Hinrichs, who is also a professor of medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Individuals aged 18 and older who weigh at least 100 pounds are eligible to take part in the study. Other criteria also must be met. Prior to being accepted into the study, participants are required to undergo other tests including routine bloodwork and a physical exam. Approximately 500 participants are being sought to take part in the study.