Speaker Profile

M.D., Ph.D., Chief, Cellular Therapy and Transplant Section , Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Dr. Grupp serves as Director of the Cancer Immunotherapy Program and Director of Translational Research in the Center for Childhood Cancer Research at CHOP, and the Novotny Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. A BMT physician, he is a member of the Division of Oncology and the Medical Director of the Cell and Gene Therapy Lab. Dr. Grupp’s primary laboratory interest is developing novel cell therapies for pediatric cancers. His clinical research focuses on the use of CAR T and other engineered cell therapies in relapsed cancers. He led all of the pediatric ALL trials of CTL019 (now approved as Kymriah), including the largest, most successful engineered T cell therapy clinical trial conducted to date, as well as the global registration trial for CTL019. He presented the Clinical Perspective at the July 2018 FDA ODAC meeting, at which reviewers voted 10-0 recommending approval for Kymriah in pediatric ALL.

Session Abstract – PMWC 2019 Silicon Valley

Session Synopsis: Cancer tumors use many strategies to evade the host immune system, including down regulation or weak immunogenicity of target antigens and creation of an immune-suppressive tumor microenvironment. T cells play a key role in cell-mediated immunity and, recently, strategies to genetically modify T cells either through altering the specificity of the T cell receptor (TCR) or through introducing antibody-like recognition in chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) have made substantial advances. The potential of these approaches has been demonstrated in clinical trials and received approvals from the US FDA and European regulators. Challenges for bringing genetically modified T-cell immunotherapy to many patients with different tumor types remain. These challenges range from the selection of antigen targets and dealing with regulatory and safety issues to successfully navigating the routes to commercial development.

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