Daniel “Trey” Lee, MD, a pediatric oncologist and researcher at UVA, has been developing a new gene therapy to battle treatment-resistant pediatric leukemia. In September of 2017, a teen became the first patient in Virginia to receive a dose of this experimental immunotherapy. Now, the Clinical Research Forum, an advocacy group for clinical research, has recognized the groundbreaking work as one of 2017’s most important clinical research studies.
The approach, known as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, takes a person’s own immune cells and genetically modifies them with the goal of making them more effective cancer killers. Lee conducted the research with colleagues while at the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute, in collaboration with Stanford University. He has continued his work since being recruited to UVA, where he is part of the UVA Cancer Center and UVA’s Carter Immunology Center, a UVA Children’s Hospital faculty member, and the director of the Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Program.
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