Gene Edited and Engineered Cells: Next Generation of Cancer Therapeutics

Cell based therapies are emerging as a promising strategy for cancer. We have developed cell surface receptor targeted adult stem cells, cancer cells and T cells expressing novel bi-functional immunomodulatory proteins and oncolytic viruses. Using recently established tumor models that mimic clinical settings, we have explored the fate and efficacy of engineered cell based therapies. Our findings demonstrate the strength of employing engineered cell based therapies in preclinical models and form the basis for their clinical translation. This presentation considers the current status of Cell-based treatments for cancer and provides a rationale for translating the most promising preclinical studies into the clinic.

Dr. Shah is the Vice Chair of Research for the Department of Neurosurgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Professor at Harvard Medical School. He also Directs the Center for Stem Cell Therapeutics and Imaging and also Directs the joint Center of Excellence in Biomedicine. He is also the Principal Faculty at Harvard Stem Cell Institute in Boston. Dr. Shah and his team have pioneered major developments in the Cell therapy field, successfully developing engineering targeted stem cells and immune cells for cancer. These studies have been published in a number of very high impact journals like Nature Neuroscience, PNAS, Nature Reviews Cancer, JNCI, Stem Cells and Lancet Oncology. Previously, Dr. Shah’s stem cell work has caught the attention in the public domain and as such it has been highlighted in the media world-wide including features on BBC and CNN. Recently, Dr. Shah’s laboratory has reverse engineered cancer cells using CRISPR/Cas9 technology and utilized them as therapeutics to treat cancer. This work was published in journal Science Translation Medicine and highlighted world-wide including features on Scientific American, New York Times and NPR. Dr. Shah holds current positions on numerous councils, advisory and editorial boards in the fields of cell therapy and oncology. In an effort to translate the exciting therapies develped in his laboratory into clinics, he has founded two biotech companies whose main objective is the clinical translation of therapeutic engineered stem cells and cancer cells in patients.