Recently we were excited to learn that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced approval of Yescarta, Kite Pharma’s Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell Therapy for adults with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. The previous issue of Momentum included a feature story on how CAR T helped a patient with B cell lymphoma who benefitted by participating in a clinical trial of CAR T here at Moffitt. Our own Dr. Frederick Locke was the co-principal investigator of the national multi-center trial leading to Yescarta’s approval. Moffitt is proud to be leading the way in the development of this particular new immunotherapy and so much more.
Sometimes a therapy can be deceptively simple, such as adaptive therapy, which uses existing treatments. The complexity comes into play when determining how to keep resistant cancer cells in check by giving just enough chemo to stop their growth, then repeatedly resuming or changing treatment. This requires the dexterity of our Integrated Mathematical Oncology faculty members Dr. Robert Gatenby and Dr. Alexander Anderson.
Other times, our patients require the soothing services of our interfaith, board-certified chaplains who work quietly behind the scenes, tending to matters of the spirit and soul.
And what would we do without our Board members like Valerie Goddard, who generously give their time and share their community knowledge and business expertise to help make Moffitt Cancer Center a better place?
Research areas described in this issue include collaborating on a global scale to find answers that will help lead to cancer cures and also that will help to eliminate cancer health disparities. And we are learning more about how the intestinal microbiome (the collection of microbes that includes bacteria, viruses and fungi) can affect our immune system and response to cancer treatment.
We hope you enjoy reading these stories, which share our growing global scientific research initiatives, innovative new treatments and more.
Alan F. List, MD
President & CEO
Moffitt Cancer Center