IMAGE: Amir Toor, M.D. (middle), and collaborators view more
Credit: John Wallace at VCU Massey Cancer Center
In the Cellular Immunotherapy and Transplantation Program at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center, scientists are pursuing a cross-collaborative effort that could potentially change the way cellular immunotherapies such as stem cell transplantation and CAR T-cell therapies are performed. This grassroots research is funded primarily through VCU Massey pilot grants, and it is culminating in a first-of-its-kind body of work that provides a detailed quantitative view of how the immune system responds to cellular therapies.
“We have developed the mathematical basis of the immune responses observed in stem cell transplantation and other forms of cancer therapy reliant upon the immune system,” says Massey hematologist-oncologist and lead investigator Amir Toor, M.D. “This has allowed us to understand the immune responses that occur following transplantation and cancer immunotherapy as a deterministic, rather than random process. In the future, we hope such models will be used to facilitate treatment decisions, which will improve the outcome of patients treated for cancers of the blood and lymphatic system.”
Toor has been pursuing the idea of modeling immune responses since he discovered fractal patterns in the development of T-cells when he examined DNA