The meeting was chaired by Consultant Haematologist Dr Tobias Menne (The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust). The agenda was shaped to include a breadth of topics in the CAR T-cell field. The objective of the forum was to connect various stakeholders involved in the delivery of CAR T-cell therapy to aid the smooth integration into patient care in the UK. Keynote speakers from the United States were given the opportunity to share best practice to promote collective expert discussion on the implementation of CAR T-cell therapy.
Guest speakers included:
- Professor Sattva Neelapu; Deputy Chair ad interim and Director of Translational Research, Department of Lymphoma and Myseloma, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre
- Ms Kathleen McDermott; Research Nurse, Dana Faber Cancer Institute
- Ms Anne Black; Regional Quality Assurance Specialist Pharmacist, The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Keynote speaker Professor Neelapu provided an insight into current CAR T-cell therapy practice in the United States. As a physician-scientist Prof Neelapu’s research focuses on B-cell malignancies and the translational development of novel immunotherapies. Interestingly, Prof Neelapu was also involved in the clinical trial of axicabtagene ciloleucel CD19 CAR T-cell therapy for aggressive B-cell Lymphomas which gained FDA and NICE approval as the first CAR T-cell therapy for Lymphoma.
Kathleen McDermott was the second Keynote Speaker and discussed CAR T-cell therapy from a nursing perspective. Kathleen was initially involved in CAR T-cell clinical trials but since CAR T-cell products have become commercially available in the United States she has navigated over 50 patients and their families through CAR T-cell treatment. This talk emphasised the importance of members of a multidisciplinary team communicating effectively and working together to optimally manage CAR T-cell therapy.
Anne Black discussed ATMP and medicine governance. Anne is the chair of the Pan UK Pharmacy Working Group on ATMPs and also a steering board member within the Northern Alliance Advanced Therapy Treatment Centre. Anne has also recently been filmed by Kite Gilead for their online educational materials speaking on the role of pharmacy in marketed CAR-Ts.
The educational event was incredibly informative and interesting, promoting useful discussion between a variety of stakeholders.