Niek van Til (Boelens/Nierkens group) received a KWF grant (Dutch Cancer Society) for his project:
Development of superior Wilms’tumor 1 specific gene modified CORD BLOOD T cells to treat refractory acute myeloid leukemia patients.
Pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a type of cancer that can be treated by transplanting blood stem cells. Even though this treatment is curative in some patients, unfortunately, the cancer often reappears later in life. In the “pediatric blood and marrow transplantation program” at the UMC Utrecht, we use donor umbilical CORD BLOOD cells as a source of stem cells for transplantation. The KWF project is designed to enhance the development of cord blood-derived tumor specific T cells to eliminate the leukemic cells. To achieve this we will use techniques to modify the genetic content of T cells in a safe and permanent manner. We expect that the findings result in a broad applicability of effective allogeneic off-the-shelf T cell therapies extending also to other types of cancers in both children and adults.