By aligning vast clinical experience with unmatched scientific expertise, the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation Laboratory centers on six areas of groundbreaking research:
• Cancer genetics and treatment of childhood adolescent hematological malignancies
• Genetic re-engineering of immune cells to enhance cellular cancer immunotherapy
• Tumor immunology and target identification for humoral (body-fluid) immunotherapy
• Stem cell biology, cancer stem cells and regenerative therapy
• Targeted therapy for childhood, adolescent and young adult tumors
• Translational (bench to bedside) therapeutic consortiums for childhood and adolescent cancer therapy
In addition, our laboratory has developed several national translational research consortiums focusing on Stem Cell Transplantation for high-risk patients with Acute Leukemia, Lymphoma cell therapy, Pediatric Sarcoma cell therapy, Familial Stem Cell Transplantation for sickle cell disease, and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma translational research and treatment. Due to our “bench to bedside and back” research, children travel from across the country, and the world, to receive treatment at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital.
Cellular and Tissue Engineering Laboratory
The Cellular and Tissue Engineering Laboratory (CTEL) within the Children and Adolescent Cancer and Blood Disease Center at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital consists of a 8,000 square foot “current good manufacturing practice” (cGMP) facility. But this manufacturing “plant” doesn’t turn out cars, pens, candies, clips or anything that can be seen with the naked eye. Instead, it creates the defining feature of medicine’s new frontier: human cells.
The state-of-the-art equipment in the CTEL is designed to facilitate cellular therapy (CT) under investigational new drug applications (IND), in support of cellular therapy that will treat a variety of disorders and diseases. All pediatric and adult blood and marrow transplantation programs, and other regenerative cellular therapy programs at Westchester Medical Center and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, rely on cell manufacture and processing in the CTEL.
With a focus on oncology, hematology, neurology, genetics and cardiovascular therapies, the CTEL supports a range of translational programs that harness stem cell, cellular, tissue and gene therapies. The research team has FDA approval for several clinical protocols to treat such disorders as sickle cell disease, in which red blood cells break down into a “sickle” shape. Therapeutic action in this case uses the patient’s mother or father as a donor, with peripheral blood as a stem cell source, to replace the damaged sickle cells with healthy red blood cells.