Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, Cancer Center Deputy Director, Executive Director of the Center for Immunotherapy, and Chair of the Department of Gynecologic Oncology at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center (Roswell Park) is a featured presenter during the special consortia of the 2015 annual meeting of the New York State Stem Cell Science Program (NYSTEM), Thursday, May 14 at Rockefeller University, New York, NY.
At Roswell Park, Dr. Odunsi is the lead investigator of a prestigious grant of nearly $12 million from NYSTEM which is designed to develop new therapies for advanced ovarian cancer. The four-year, $11.9 million grant to Roswell Park is one of three new state awards totaling $36 million to support innovative approaches for developing stem-cell based therapies for diseases that are notoriously hard to treat. The clinical need for new treatments is dire, as advanced ovarian cancer is an aggressive and typically fatal disease.
Dr. Odunsi will be presenting data that supports his proposal to re-engineer adult stem cells derived from blood, and infuse them into ovarian cancer patients. Recently, members of his group have successfully re-engineered blood derived stem cells such that when they mature, they become anti-tumor immune cells, with ability to recognize and kill cancer cells. This new approach is likely to provide a continuous, possibly lifelong, source of anti-cancer immune cells that will provide sustained attack against ovarian cancer. The NYSTEM funding will allow Dr. Odunsi’s team to test this highly innovative approach in patients with relapsed ovarian cancer.
New York State Stem Cell Science works to further the agenda of the Empire State Stem Cell Board, whose mission is to foster a strong stem cell research community in New York State and to accelerate the growth of scientific knowledge about stem cell biology and the development of therapies and diagnostic methods under the highest ethical, scientific, and medical standards for the purpose of alleviating disease and improving human health. For more information, visit NYSTEM.
Deborah Pettibone, Public Information Specialist