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Cell therapy unit (Hematology)

The hematological cell therapy unit (U.T.C.H.) is a platform dedicated to translating new cell therapies into reliable and effective treatment that increases the survival rate of cancer patients as a result of innovative approaches. The unit's functioning is closely integrated with that of the apheresis unit upstream and the clinical transplantation service downstream. It also cooperates with the translational research units in developing new cellular products for clinical usage. We provide the Institute as a whole with the expertise that is essential for implementing and developing cellular immunotherapy. 

The cell therapy platform is a unit that complies with GMP standards for the collecting, processing (including selection, expansion, freezing, etc. of cells), control, storage and delivery of several cell types, including hematopoietic stem cells,  mesenchymal cells, lymphocytes and dendritic cells. It has three banks with FAMHP   (Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products) accreditation: the hematopoietic stem cell bank, the  therapeutic cell bank, accredited since 2009, under the inspection programme  (Joint Accreditation Committee of the ISCT and EBMT or JACIE), and the ULB's umbilical cord blood bank, accredited by the US agency FACT ((Foundation for Accreditation of Cellular Therapy). Our accreditations certify work that complies with high quality standards and enable us to continuously improve quality within the various teams involved in carrying out hematopoietic transplants and in cellular therapy in general. Due to the considerable increase in our activity the umbilical cord blood bank has already been transferred to a temporary facility on the Anderlecht site (ULB campus and Erasmus hospital) while awaiting the inauguration of our permanent premises within the New Bordet. 

Our expertise has also enabled us to develop close cooperation with small biotech companies active in developing innovative therapies. We provide them with the opportunity to benefit from professional services ranging from access to an accredited cell therapy unit when carrying out their clinical trials to the services of consultants when optimising new products. 

Given the dramatic growth of immunotherapy the Institute has also decided to invest in a huge unit complying with GMP standards in its new buildings at the New Bordet. This new unit should enable us to meet the challenge of new cellular immunotherapies and to meet the needs both of the Institute and of its potential academic and private collaborators. 

Research projects


 

Project 1

A Phase III, multicenter, randomized controlled study to compare safety and efficacy of a haploidentical HSCT and adjunctive treatment with ATIR101, a T-lymphocyte enriched leukocyte preparation depleted ex vivo of host alloreactive T-cells, versus a haploidentical HSCT with posttransplant cyclophosphamide in patients with a hematologic malignancy

Project 2

A multinational open-label dose escalation Phase I/II study to assess the safety and clinical activity of multiple administrations of NKR-2 in patients with different metastatic tumor types.
  •  Project leaders : Ahmad Awada
  • Collaboration : Celyad 

Our team

Head of the Department of Hematology
Pr Dominique Bron

Director of the Cell Therapy Unit and Banks Manager
Pr Philippe Lewalle

Scientific Director of the Cell Therapy Unit
DrSc Alain Delforge

Coordinator of the Cell Therapy Unit
Redouane Rouas

Cell Therapy Unit Qualitician
Aurélie Timmermans
Olivier Carabin

Technicians at the Cell Therapy Unit
Marie-José Concepcion Caballero
Christine Dorval
Souhaila Mahria
Aude Sauvage

Secretariat
Vanessa Vanpevenage

 Scientific publications

Mesenchymal stromal cells and natural killer cells: a complex story of love and hate.

Authors : Najar M, Fayyad-Kazan M, Merimi M, Burny A, Bron D, Fayyad-Kazan H, Meuleman N, Lagneaux L
Year : 2019
Journal : Curr Stem Cell Res Ther
Volume : 14(1)
Pages : 14-21

Obinutuzumab plus Lenalidomide (GALEN) for the treatment of relapse/refractory aggressive lymphoma: a phase II LYSA study.

Authors : Houot R, Cartron G, Bijou F, de Guibert S, Salles GA, Fruchart C, Bouabdallah K, Maerevoet M, Feugier P, Le Gouill S, Tilly H, Casasnovas RO, Moluçon-Chabrot C, Van Den Neste E, Zachee P, Andre M, Bonnet C, Haioun C, van Hoof A, Van Eygen K, Molina L, Nicolas-Virelizier E, Ruminy P, Morschhauser F
Year : 2019
Journal : Leukemia
Volume : 33
Pages : 776-780

MiR302c, Sp1, and NFATc2 regulate interleukin-21 expression in human CD4+CD45RO+ T lymphocytes.

Authors : El-Said H, Fayyad-Kazan M, Aoun R, Borghol N, Skafi N, Rouas R, Vanhamme L, Mourtada M, Ezzeddine M, Burny A, Fayyad-Kazan H, Badran B
Year : 2019
Journal : J Cell Physiol
Volume : 234
Pages : 5998-6011

Determining clinically important differences in health-related quality of life in older patients with cancer undergoing chemotherapy or surgery.

Authors : Quinten C, Kenis C, Decoster L, Debruyne PR, De Groof I, Focan C, Cornelis F, Verschaeve V, Bachmann C, Bron D, Luce S, Debugne G, Van den Bulck H, Goeminne JC, Baitar A, Geboers K, Petit B, Langenaeken C, Van Rijswijk R, Specenier P, Jerusalem G, Praet JP, Vandenborre K, Lycke M, Flamaing J, Milisen K, Lobelle JP, Wildiers H
Year : 2019
Journal : Qual Life Res
Volume : 28
Pages : 663-676

Sweet's syndrome induced by pegfilgrastim during a myelodysplastic syndrome AREB2: A case report.

Authors : Nelis S, Azerad MA, Drowart A, Lewalle P, Efira A
Year : 2019
Journal : Rev Med Interne
Volume : 40
Pages : 258-261

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