Changing the Face of Cancer Treatment

"We are in the early stages of something big.”
Director, cGMP Therapeutic Cell Production Facility
Monday, June 27, 2016 - 1:56pm

Cancer immunotherapy, the practice of utilizing one’s own immune system to battle cancer cells, is a revolutionary treatment method and researchers at Roswell Park are helping blaze a trail.

The Roswell Park Center for Immunotherapy, led by Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, consists of three facilities, including the area that I oversee, the cGMP Therapeutic Cell Production Facility. This facility manufactures therapeutic cell products in support of Phase I and II clinical cell therapy trials. Simply put, we assist in bringing lab research directly to the clinic, expediting the process of getting new therapies to cancer patients.

In addition to working alongside investigators from Roswell Park, we work closely with researchers and biotechnology companies from all over the country, all with a singular goal — to get their products up and running, and into the clinic as soon as possible.

At the cGMP Therapeutic Cell Production Facility, my team focuses on cellular therapies, including regenerative medicine, engineered T cells and dendritic cell vaccines. Research in the lab is often small-scale and obviously not ready for patient use. We turn a small-scale project into something tangible and useful for patients, and that can be shared in large quantities.

To break it down even further, Dr. Odunsi’s investigative team at the CFI develops cutting-edge clinical trials, for example adoptive T cell therapy. In this case, we manufacture the cells via a process that follows strict U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations and usage. Our facility gene-modifies a cell, cultures it, expands it and tests it for use. If all goes as planned, the immunotherapy is then ready for the clinic, where it can treat cancer patients.

The cGMP Therapeutic Cell Production Facility is a state-of-the-art, high-tech facility that is certified at the highest possible level of quality. In 2014, our facility expanded due to the amount of investigators requesting to use our services. The expansion quadrupled the size of our facility, as a result significantly multiplying the number of patients that can be treated with the products we manufacture.

For more on how our facility and the Center for Immunotherapy is changing the face of cancer treatment, please watch the above video.