MD Anderson Cancer Center and Cellectis, a biopharmaceutical corporation, are involved in the development of cellular immunotherapies to tackle cancer using genetic engineering technologies. This cooperation between the two entities promises to rise expectations in the treatment of liquid tumors.
This alliance’s framework is based on the development of cancer immunotherapies such as the T-cell therapy. T-cells are lymphocytes, cells involved in the process of cell-mediated immunity. The T-cell therapy is a type of immunotherapy in which the patient’s T-cells are isolated in the laboratory and recombined with a synthetic receptor. This recombination aims to allow the cell to recognize a particular antigen or protein, and it is reinfused into the patient. By using this system, the MD Anderson Cancer Centre’s teams will cooperate with Cellectis to develop customized treatment to patients suffering from cancers with high unmet needs, such as multiple myeloma (MM), acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), T-cell acute lymphocytic (ALL) and blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN). For this to occur, the MD Anderson’s extensive translational pre-clinical and clinical teams will couple their knowledge with Cellectis’ CAR T-cell therapies and manufacturing capabilities to develop top-of-the-line treatments.
This cooperation will be managed by Hagop Kantarjian, M.D. and Robert Orlowski, M.D., Ph.D from the Department of Lymphoma/Myeloma. According with Dr. Kantarjian, the MD Anderson Cancer Centre strives to provide more effective care to patients and alliances like this are another way to explore how to bring the latest therapies to the patients who need them.
André Choulika, Ph.D., chief executive officer and chairman of Cellectis underlines that this cooperation is a key strategy to help the development of a stronger portfolio with candidate products in immune oncology. Dr. Choulika reinforces Cellectis’ enthusiasm with the potential of its product candidate pipeline to deliver innovative treatment options. “Immunotherapy is increasingly a significant element in cancer treatment,” said Dr. Orlowski in a news release. “It is my hope that patients with multiple myeloma and other cancers will benefit through this alliance.”
Immunotherapy applied to cancer treatment, uses the patients’ immune system to fight the disease. This can be done by stimulating the individual’s immune system to react more efficiently against cancer cells or by delivering in the patients’ body artificial proteins that will boost the immune system activity. This last strategy allows the immune system to react faster to cancer cells once they start to develop and multiply.