Roswell Park’s Dr. Kunle Odunsi to Give Update on Ovarian Cancer Immunotherapy Study at ASCO Annual Meeting

  • Dr. Kunle Odunsi leads ongoing clinical study in patients with ovarian cancer
  • Patients are treated with infusions of their own re-engineered immune cells
  • Dr. Odunsi to detail trial progress in presentation at ASCO Annual Meeting

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, FRCOG, FACOG, Deputy Director of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, will give an update about an ongoing clinical trial at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 53rd Annual Meeting in Chicago. Dr. Odunsi, who is also Chair of Gynecologic Oncology and Executive Director of the Center for Immunotherapy at Roswell Park, will report on the status and methods of the clinical study, which is assessing the safety and antitumor activity of an approach that employs T-cell engineering to stimulate the immune system against ovarian cancer.

The clinical study is being conducted in collaboration with researchers from City of Hope, the Stanford Cancer Institute, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the University of Miami and Adaptimmune Therapeutics.

Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, FRCOG, FACOG, Deputy Director of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

The premise behind the ongoing phase I/II clinical trial in patients with recurrent or treatment-resistant ovarian cancer is to use T-cell engineering to “teach” a patient’s own immune system to recognize and attack the ovarian cancer cells. After patients receive a lymphodepleting chemotherapy regimen, their T cells are isolated, expanded, transduced with a lentiviral vector containing specialized T-cell receptors (TCRs) — specifically, the NY-ESO-1c259 TCRs — and then infused intravenously.

“There is a pressing need for new therapies for ovarian cancer and for epithelial ovarian cancer in particular,” says Dr. Odunsi, who holds an additional faculty appointment at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo. “We’re pleased to be able to detail our progress on this study for our colleagues around the country and around the world.”

The poster, “A phase I/IIa, open label, clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of autologous T cells expressing enhanced TCRs specific for NY-ESO-1 in patients with recurrent or treatment refractory ovarian cancer (NCT01567891),” is ASCO 2017 abstract TPS3094 and will be presented Monday, June 5, from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. CDT in McCormick Place, Hall A, as part of the Developmental Therapeutics—Immunotherapy session.


The mission of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1898, Roswell Park is one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit, call 1-877-ASK-Roswell Park (1-866-559-4838) or email Follow Roswell Park on Facebook and Twitter.

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