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 pre-clinical 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.