Loyola to become first Chicago center to produce cancer-fighting CAR-T cells

MAYWOOD, IL – Loyola University Chicago and Loyola Medicine have announced plans to become the first Chicago center to produce cancer-fighting CAR-T cells to treat leukemia and lymphoma.

CAR-T cell therapy has been shown to be remarkably effective in treating cancer patients who have failed standard treatments, but it is expensive and can cause severe side effects. Loyola is planning on producing a more purified CAR-T cell product that potentially could reduce toxicities and costs.

The Leukemia Research Foundation is supporting the research with a lead gift of $250,000 to Loyola University Chicago.

CAR-T therapy harnesses the patient’s immune system to fight cancer. In the Loyola clinical trial, T-cells will be collected from the patient and sent to Loyola’s clean lab. There, the cells will be genetically modified to target and kill cancer cells. Millions of these engineered T-cells then will be infused back into the patient. (T-cells play an essential role in the immune system. They flow through the bloodstream to fight viruses, bacteria and other foreign invaders. CAR-T is short for chimeric antigen receptor T-cell.)

Loyola is among the Chicago centers that have treated patients with CAR-T cells developed by pharmaceutical companies. Now Loyola will be the


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