The T Cell Engineering Laboratory at Mayo Clinic is focused on the development, optimization and translation of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy for people with cancer. Saad J Kenderian, M.B., Ch. B., leads a research team of staff with expertise in hematology, oncology, neurology and immune therapy to develop new treatments for cancer in his T Cell Engineering Lab.

CAR-T cell therapy is a novel immunotherapeutic approach to treat cancer. A chimeric antigen receptor is a synthetic antibody on the surface of T cells that enables T cells to recognize cancer cells. The most successful CAR-T cell therapy to date is targets CD19 (CAR-T19), which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2017 for the treatment of B-cell lymphoma and leukemia.

The process of making and administering CAR-T cells is complex, labor intensive and expensive. The first step occurs when T cells are isolated from a person with cancer by a process called apheresis. The T cells are then sent to a laboratory where they are stimulated and transduced with a viral vector to generate CAR-T cells. After the cells are generated, patients receive low-dose chemotherapy followed by infusion of these cells. CAR-T cell therapy results in unique and serious complications that require close medical attention and in most cases intensive care. These complications include the development of cytokine release syndrome and neurotoxicity.

The T Cell Engineering Lab is affiliated with other Mayo Clinic research areas, including:

About Dr. Kenderian

Dr. Kenderian is an assistant professor of medicine, immunology and oncology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. His principal research interests are developing and optimizing novel-engineered T cell therapy approaches for the treatment of cancer for people with relapsed and refractory hematological malignancies.