Kimberly and Joseph Wesley have donated $10 million to University Hospitals in Cleveland to establish the Wesley Center for Immunotherapy at UH Seidman Cancer Center. As it turns out, Joe Wesley was fighting cancer for years. After a large tumor was significantly diminished thanks to immunotherapy, the patient turned around and made a major donation to support immunology-based research and care options.
The Specter of Cancer
Recently, UH reported that cancer will soon supplant heart disease as the number one health killer in the United States in 2020, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Moreover, it is projected that cancer cases will almost double by 2040.
The Hope: Immunotherapy
Immunotherapy is primarily a fourth option as a cancer treatment. The most prevalent treatments include chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. But with major research centering on immunotherapy and numerous results, such as ones at UH, care providers increasingly look to the preeminence of this type of treatment for more cancer patients.
UH Immunotherapy on the Move thanks to the Donation
Thanks to this incredible donation, UH can expand immunotherapy research and laboratory efforts in a bid to establish the center as one of the top five in the United States, reports Dr. Ted Teknos, President and Chief Scientific Officer of UH Seidman Cancer Center.
Presently UH is conducting 61 immunotherapy-based clinical trials including 17 immunotherapy-centered clinical trials originating from the UH cell therapy facility involved with CAR-T, NK cell and other cell-based therapies.
Ms. Robbins reports a growing productivity and efficiency associated with immunotherapy and, more specifically, cell therapy-based cells for treatment. For example, what can take an average of 12-30 days for cell production in commercially available CAR T trials takes UH now only eight days. Thanks to this innovation out of Cleveland’s UH Seidman Cancer Center, doctors there can care for more cancer patients in a more efficient manner. The potential for immunotherapy is far reaching, raising the hopes of cancer patients whether battling melanoma, lung cancer or various blood cancers and even rare diseases.
Results out of UH
And results are what matters: UH Seidman Cancer Center, according to local media, are producing them. For example, “Of the 22 patients who have completed immunotherapy trials by receiving UH generated CAR-T cells, there’s been an overall response rate of 85 percent and a 70 percent rate of complete remission.” Dr. Teknos continued, “UH is one of less than a dozen academic medical centers to have successfully manufactured CAR-T cells for human use, and is the cornerstone of the nation’s only National Center for Regenerative Medicine.”
UH Seidman Cancer Center
UH Seidman Cancer Center is part of University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, a major not-for-profit medical complex in Cleveland, Ohio. The complex is affiliated with Case Western Reserve University. UH Cleveland Medical Center is home to world class clinical and research centers, including cancer.
Call to Action: For more on immunotherapy, see Dr. Teknos’ video. For those in the Cleveland area that have a cancer diagnosis in the family, consider a second option at the UH Seidman Cancer Center.