T-Cell Lymphoma Dream Team - Stand Up to Cancer

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SU2C Meg Vosburg T-cell Lymphoma Dream Team:
Tailoring CAR-based Immunotherapy Strategies
to T-cell Lymphoma

Grant Term: January 2019 – December 2021

The goal of this team is to develop an effective treatment for T-cell lymphoma, a rare cancer of the blood and immune system for which few therapeutic options currently exist. The team is using powerful new immunotherapy approaches to both destroy T cells that have become malignant and prepare patients, when indicated, for successful stem cell transplants to contain or cure the cancer. By conducting clinical trials, the team hopes to create durable responses with therapies that can be applied to a wide variety of T-cell lymphoma malignancies.

ABOUT THIS TEAM’S RESEARCH

Cancer immunotherapy—enabling the body’s immune system to detect and destroy cancer cells—has had a tremendous impact on a wide range of cancers, including B-cell lymphomas. However, it has not yet been effective in those lymphomas that originate primarily from T cells. The scientific challenge is in finding a therapy that can attack the cancerous T cells while leaving normal cells intact, since T cells are essential to the body’s immune system.

The SU2C Meg Vosburg T-cell Lymphoma Dream Team is testing engineered cells that carry molecules known as chimeric antigen receptors, or CARs, which can lock onto proteins on the surface of cancerous T cells and destroy them. Finding the best combination of CARs and engineered cell types is a key goal of the Dream Team. In addition, the team is working to modify the CAR-carrying cells so that they are not hindered by immune cells. This will help reduce the cancer and prepare patients for potential stem cell transplants to contain or cure the cancer. CAR therapy is usually custom-built for each patient. The team is trying to find a way to develop CAR cells on an “off-the-shelf” basis so the therapy will be more available to patients and less expensive.

This team is named in honor of Mary Margaret (Meg) Moretti Vosburg, a lifelong learner, educator and humanitarian, who died on May 26, 2018, after a hard-fought battle with lymphoma at the age of 51.

MEET THE TEAM

The top scientists and researchers on the SU2C Meg Vosburg T-cell Lymphoma Dream Team come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, which leads them to great insights upon collaboration. Learn more about the SU2C Meg Vosburg T-cell Lymphoma Dream Team.

Dream Team Members

Helen Heslop, MD
Baylor College of Medicine
Leader

Gianpietro Dotti, MD
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Co-leader

Anne Beaven, MD
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Investigator

Malcolm K. Brenner, MD, PhD
Baylor College of Medicine
Investigator

Paul Eldridge, PhD
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Investigator

Natasha Lapteva, PhD
Baylor College of Medicine
Investigator

Timothy S. Pardee, MD, PhD
Wake Forest Baptist Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Center (WFBHCCC)
Investigator

Joel Parker, PhD
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Investigator

Carlos Ramos, MD
Baylor College of Medicine
Investigator

Barbara Savoldo, MD, PhD
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Investigator

Elizabeth J. Shpall, MD
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC)
Investigator

Wei Zhang
Wake Forest Baptist Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Center (WFBHCCC)
Investigator

May Daher, MD
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC)
Young Investigator

Natalie Grover, MD
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Young Investigator

LaQuisa Hill, MD
Baylor College of Medicine
Young Investigator

Zanetta S. Lamar, MD
Wake Forest Baptist Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Center (WFBHCCC)
Young Investigator

Maksim Mamonkin, PhD
Baylor College of Medicine
Young Investigator

Rayne Rouce, MD
Baylor College of Medicine
Young Investigator

Bayard Powell, MD
Wake Forest Baptist Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Center (WFBHCCC)
Dream Team Principal

Katy Rezvani, MD, PhD
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC)
Dream Team Principal

Gustavo Ayala, MD
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Advocate

Bambi Grilley
Baylor College of Medicine
Advocate

Ruth Sorelle
Advocate

Patty Spears
UNC Lineberger Patient Research Advocacy Group
Advocate

“We’re exploiting the potential of the immune system to cure T-cell lymphoma by genetically modifying immune system cells, called T cells, so they have new receptors that will allow them to recognize the lymphoma cells and kill them. And we’re evaluating several different targets and several different sorts of immune effector cells. It’s a modular sort of system where we can hopefully combine the best from each different approach to produce a therapy that will improve outcomes in this patient population.”

Helen Heslop, MD
Baylor College of Medicine

TEAM PROGRESS UPDATES

Stand Up To Cancer’s research projects are designed to foster collaborative, swift translational research. The hallmarks of these efforts include rigorous application and selection procedures, sufficient funding to allow scientists to focus on the objectives of the grant, and reviews by senior scientists every six months. These reviews help the investigators capitalize on the latest findings, address potential roadblocks, and collaboratively evolve as the science requires. For the SU2C Meg Vosburg T-cell Lymphoma Dream Team, please click on the link below to see summaries of their research results so far.

TEAM PROGRESS UPDATES

PUBLICATIONS

This team started its work in January 2019. Links to publications will be posted when they are available.

Clinical Trials Referrals

Cancer clinical trials allow researchers to study innovative and potentially life-saving new treatments. The goal is to find treatments that are better than what’s currently available; in fact, the therapies offered to today’s cancer patients were almost all studied and made possible by people participating in clinical trials. But many cancer clinical trials aren’t completed because not enough people take part.

At StandUpToCancer.org/ClinicalTrials, you’ll find information and answers to common questions about clinical trials. Learn more and talk to your doctor to see if a clinical trial may be the best choice for you.

You can also connect with EmergingMed, a free and confidential clinical trial matching service that provides access to a vast database to help you identify the clinical trials that might be right for you or your loved one.

LEARN MORE

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