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Dr. Anna Tinker: Enrolling Patients in Immunotherapy Clinical Trials

October 9, 2015

Hello, I’m Dr. Anna Tinker and like Dr. Nelson, I’m happy to be returning to the BC Cancer Foundation blog this month, to share with you our plans for upcoming immunotherapy clinical trials.

As a medical oncologist at the BC Cancer Agency, I’ll be working closely with the DRC team and also with patients, to enroll those eligible and willing to take part in a phase I immunotherapy trial.

After Dr. Nelson’s team extracts the patient’s T cells and supercharges them to identify cancer in the body, the T cells will be administered back into the patient through an IV infusion.

Our goal is for the T cells to identify every remaining cancer cell in the patient’s body and launch an attack on these cells to destroy them. We anticipate patients will spend several weeks in the hospital as their immune systems are sent into over-drive. We’ll closely monitor the health of the patients and monitor their immune response throughout the process.

Immunotherapy clinical trials at other cancer centres around the globe are showing great promise in treating cancers like melanoma and childhood leukemia. It is my hope that we’ll see the same results here in B.C. for cervical and ovarian cancers.