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CAR T-Cell Therapy Reengineers Immune Cells To Fight Cancer

June 01, 2024

Stem cell transplant specialists at Orlando Health Cancer Institute are achieving superior patient outcomes by treating advanced blood cancers using novel CAR T-cell therapy. Under the direction of Yasser Khaled, MD, medical director of the bone marrow transplant and cellular therapy program, Orlando Health Cancer Institute has treated more than 160 patients with curative results over 80%.

Yasser Khaled, MD

CAR T-cell transplant therapy supercharges the immune system to attack cancer cells at a microscopic level. A patient’s T-cells are harvested, genetically reengineered to produce chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) proteins specific to the disease, then reproduced by the millions. When infused back into the patient, the activated T-cells continue to multiply, target and kill cancer cells throughout the body.

Established in 2021, Orlando Health’s CAR T transplant program is recognized among the nation’s top 12 performing centers by the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research.

“Since our inception, we have consistently over-performed according to standards, with patient survival outcomes annually besting predicated benchmarks by 20%,” says Dr. Khaled, a board-certified hematology and oncology specialist. A published researcher, Dr. Khaled is principal investigator/co-investigator for multiple industry- and NIH-funded protocols on stem cell transplantation.

CAR T-Cell Therapy Reengineers Immune Cells To Fight Cancer

Current candidates for CAR T-cell therapy suffer from refractory acute leukemia, multiple myeloma and lymphomas unresponsive to front- or second-line treatment. “Customized CAR T-cell therapy is a transformative option for those in critical stages of advanced blood cancers,” says Dr. Khaled. “It eliminates our dependence on only chemotherapy or surgical options and offers curative potential for those normally sent to hospice.”

Clinical trials are currently exploring CAR T to treat a variety of other cancers as well. “Cancer treatment has changed dramatically, and CAR T-cell therapy is one of the most transformative new options,” says Dr. Khaled, who shares his personal phone number with every patient and referring physician during treatment. “At Orlando Health, we offer the most advanced procedures, tailoring them specifically to each patient at a cellular level with successful outcomes.”

The bone marrow transplant and cellular therapy program at Orlando Health Cancer Institute is certified by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT), which sets the global standard for the highest quality of patient care in cellular therapy. Orlando Health is dedicated to revolutionizing cancer care with patient outcomes advanced by specialists skilled in the most leading-edge technologies and involved in advanced clinical research and training.

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