New gene-altering treatment offered for certain blood cancers

View Content

“This is the beginning of a new era of cancer therapy,” said Washington University oncologist Armin Ghobadi, MD, an assistant professor of medicine, who treats patients at Siteman. “With CAR-T cell therapy, we can take patients’ own cells and turn them into a powerful weapon to attack cancer. It’s a highly personalized, innovative therapy and one we hope also will prove to be effective against many different types of cancer.”

“The immune system can’t always see cancer cells as threats — the T cells are sometimes blind to them,” said John F. DiPersio, MD, PhD, the Virginia E. and Sam J. Golman Professor of Medicine in Oncology and director of the Division of Oncology at the School of Medicine and deputy director of Siteman Cancer Center. “By modifying these T cells, we tell them what to look for. Now they can go right to the leukemia or lymphoma and eliminate the cancerous cells.”