|Awarded On||August 20, 2014|
|Title||Targeting of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia by Designer T Cells|
|Award Mechanism||Individual Investigator|
|Institution/Organization||The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center|
|Principal Investigator/Program Director||Partow Kebriaei|
Immunotherapy was named as Breakthrough of the Year for 2013. One reason for this accolade is the spectacular clinical responses achieved after infusion of tumor-specific T cells in some patients with leukemias and lymphomas arising from cancerous B cells. The T cells were rendered specific for the molecule CD19, which is expressed on most malignant B cells. This was achieved through the insertion of a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) that signals genetically modified T cells to kill upon docking with CD19. Infusions of CD19-specific CAR+ T cells resulted in eradication of tumor cells that had otherwise been refractory to treatment with conventional therapies. Our immunotherapy program at MD ...