Monday, February 28, 2022

The Pittsburgh Foundation Supports Research to Pilot CAR T-Cell Clinical Trial Treating Cancer Patients at Allegheny Health Network

Grant from the Robert N. Kohman Trust for Medical Assistance and Research Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation supports Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T- Cell Therapy Clinical Trial Research at AHN

PITTSBURGH --  The Pittsburgh Foundation has awarded Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Cancer Institute with a grant to provide support to research and analyze treatment of the first three patients enrolled in AHN’s Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy clinical trial. The funds will be used to obtain resources to validate the clinical trial and to successfully treat at least two of the first three subjects on the trial.

T-cell lymphoma and B-cell lymphoma are two types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which are found within the immune system. Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) generally affects all of the bone marrow in the body and, in some cases, has already spread to other organs, such as the liver, spleen, and lymph nodes, by the time it is found. A relapse of acute lymphocytic leukemia is difficult to treat.

“This study will be conducted at AHN West Penn Hospital and will be integral to understanding how CAR T-cell therapy acts and targets B-cell proteins”, said John Lister, MD, Chief, Division of Hematology & Cellular Therapy and Director, AHN Cancer Institute Division of Hematology Laboratories. “This clinical investigation can potentially result in long term remission and perhaps increase the cure rate for patients with Lymphoma and Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia of B-cell variety.”

“The start of this clinical trial is a critical component of the broader strategic plan that will dramatically reduce costs associated with this treatment for patients,” said David Bartlett, MD, Chair of AHN Cancer Institute. “We have created a local manufacturing facility for CAR T-cell production as the foundation for further clinical investigation. Ultimately we wish to expand beyond B- cell malignancy to more common forms of cancer such as ovarian and gastrointestinal cancers.”

“AHN is at the forefront of delivering new, more targeted cancer solutions to each patient’s needs,” said Allie Quick, Chief Philanthropy Officer at AHN. “This generous grant from The Pittsburgh Foundation provides us the opportunity to better understand lymphoma and ALL, and to perform research that can improve treatment and outcomes for patients suffering from these types of cancer.”

For more information about the AHN Cancer Institute and its programs, visit


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