Behnam Badie, M.D., F.A.C.S.: As chief of neurosurgery at City of Hope, Badie is working to transform brain tumor treatment through research collaborations using nanoparticles, engineered CAR-T cells, engineered stem cells and other novel treatments. Badie, along with other researchers and scientists, recently launched a clinical trial that uses patients’ own modified CAR-T cells to treat reoccurring glioblastomas, a deadly brain tumor with median survival just over 14 months. In this approach, patients receive injections – directly in the brain – of immune cells genetically modified to recognize certain markers on cancer cells. “The research being done with CAR-T cells is groundbreaking,” Badie said. “It will change the way we approach brain tumors.”
Christine Brown, Ph.D.: As Heritage Provider Network Professor in Immunotherapy and associate director of the T Cell Therapeutics Research Laboratory (TCTRL), Brown provides scientific oversight for the preclinical research program, as well as the ongoing clinical trial program focused on the development of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-engineered T cells for the treatment of hematological malignancies and solid tumors. Brown’s personal research efforts are focused on developing and refining re-directed CAR-T cells for the treatment of malignant brain tumors.
Stephen J. Forman, M.D., F.A.C.P.: As the Francis & Kathleen McNamara Distinguished Chair in Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, Forman is known worldwide for his pioneering breakthroughs in blood and bone marrow transplants. Today, he's on the forefront of a specific kind of immunotherapy, known as T cell therapy. This type of therapy doesn't boost the immune system, it transforms it. Forman and City of Hope are launching a wave of clinical trials for this type of therapy for treatments of patients with brain tumors, breast cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma and prostate cancer.