Immunotherapy is a treatment approach that taps into the body’s natural immune system to control or eliminate cancer. The BC Cancer Agency is a leader in immunotherapy research and, in particular, the development of custom, patient-specific Adoptive T cell Therapy.

Dr. Brad Nelson has led twelve years of lab-based immunotherapy research at the Deeley Research Centre in Victoria, supported by BC Cancer Foundation donors. He has now joined forces with genomic experts and clinical colleagues to deliver truly personalized immunotherapy to patients across B.C.

How Adoptive T cell Therapy Works

A patient’s T cells are collected from a tumour biopsy, and the cells found to already be mounting an immune response and working to attack the cancer are extracted, activated and expanded into large numbers in a highly specialized lab. These cells are then infused back into the patient’s blood stream to launch a response against every cancer cell in the body.

Adoptive T cell Therapy Clinical Trials

The BC Cancer Agency is set to launch its first Adoptive T cell Therapy clinical trial in early 2017.

The initial trial will focus on ovarian and cervical cancers and funding is currently being raised to support the second trial for lymphoma patients.

Research in international centres has shown that genetically engineered T cell Therapy can induce unprecedented complete cancer regression in 90% of patients with B cell leukemias.

There are a number of clinical trials underway at the BC Cancer Agency looking at the effectiveness of immunotherapies to treat lung, GI cancers and melanoma. To learn more, ask your oncologist about open clinical trials.