Larry Kwak, PhD, MD
Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope
Nearly one-third of patients with lymphomas or leukemias who receive CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell immunotherapy ultimately fail therapy, with down-regulation or loss of the CD19 target on tumor cells as a prominent cause of failure. To offer alternative treatment options to these patients, Dr. Larry W. Kwak and his team have developed new CAR T cells targeting the B-cell activating factor receptor (BAFF-R) on lymphoma and leukemia cells. Supported by an LLS SCOR grant, the team will conduct a first-in-human clinical trial in patients with mantle cell lymphoma. They are simultaneously increasing the effectiveness of these new CAR T cells by combining them with lymphoma signaling pathway modulators.