Creating Hope 2022 introduces next generation of immunotherapy

Creating Hope 2022 introduces next generation of immunotherapy

Every year Creating Hope brings people together to support the work underway at Providence Cancer Institute of Oregon. The evening of optimism is important to funding the transformational research that leads to new cancer treatments and offers hope for patients and their families.

On May 18, Creating Hope 2022 was live streamed from the Portland Art Museum. Providence researchers and clinicians spoke about recent advancements in research, and Eric Tran, Ph.D., described the innovative work he’s doing in adoptive cell therapy.

Personalized immunotherapy

As leader of the Adoptive Cell Therapy Laboratory at Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, a division of Providence Cancer Institute, Dr. Tran’s specialty is developing a highly personalized immunotherapy approach to treating cancer. In a classic form of adoptive cell therapy, a patient’s immune cells, called T cells, are removed from the tumor, grown to an army of billions, and then returned to the patient’s body to fight the cancer.

Dr. Tran’s current research takes the treatment a step further: Instead of removing T cells from the tumors, T cells are taken from a patient’s blood, genetically engineered in the lab to target and attack a specific kind of cancer, and then re-infused in the patient.

Patient with pancreatic cancer has hope

Kathy Wilkes, a Florida woman with pancreatic cancer that had metastasized in her lungs, received the experimental treatment in a single-patient clinical trial co-led by Dr. Tran and Rom Leidner, M.D., medical oncologist and researcher at Providence. In just one month the tumors shrunk by 62 percent. Six months later, the tumors had shrunk by 72 percent. Kathy continues to get CT scans every three months and is thrilled each time to see that the tumors in her lungs have not grown. Kathy shared her story at Creating Hope 2022.

Hear Kathy’s story.

Watch the entire Creating Hope 2022 program here .

Seventy percent of research at Providence Cancer Institute is funded through philanthropy. Creating Hope provides an opportunity to give. Your generous gifts make an enormous difference to the communities we are privileged to serve. Every dollar makes a difference in helping us reach our $1 million fundraising goal. Give today.

Related resources

Hotspot TCR-T study of gene-engineered adoptive cell therapy for incurable cancers

Novel immunotherapy for pancreatic cancer employed by Providence researchers featured in New England Journal of Medicine

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