Dr. Ivan Borrello, MD, PhD of the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, is working to create a patient-specific immunotherapy using enhanced T cells from the patient’s own bone marrow, for truly personalized medicine.
How it Works:
- Some marrow infiltrating lymphocytes (a type of T cell) are extracted from a patient’s bone marrow during a biopsy
- The MILs are then grown up 100x in the presence of the patient-specific myeloma cells in the laboratory. This trains the immune system cells to recognize potentially hundreds of myeloma “types” for that individual patient.
- Autologous transplant is given.
- Three to four days after transplant, the MILs are then given back. When they are re-introduced, they target the hundreds of proteins that could be causing tumor growth for that patient, not just a single protein and the T cells do their job to seek and destroy bad cells.
- Because transplant wipes out lymphocytes and they naturally regrow, performing the transplant makes room for the engineered cells to doubly expand to reach their normal levels.
- The research is already in Phase II clinical trials for patients with high risk genetic features.
- Lenalidomide maintenance is then used as follow-up for anti-myeloma effects and immune system boosting
To learn more about this important project, read or listen to the Myeloma Crowd Radio Interview with Dr. Borrello.