Skip to main content

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 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 2

An open-label, Phase I/II study to assess the safety and clinical activity of NKR-2 treatment administration after a non-myeloablative preconditioning chemotherapy in relapse/refractory acute myeloid leukemia or myelodysplastic syndrome patients.

Project 3

An open-label, Phase I study to assess the safety of multiple  doses of CYAD-101, administered after standard FOLFOX chemotherapy in patients with unresectable metastatic colorectal cancer

Project 4

A Phase 1/2 Study to Evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of a Single Dose of Autologous CRISPR-Cas9 Modified CD34+ Human Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells (CTX001) in Subjects with Severe Sickle Cell Disease

Our team

Head of the Department of Hematology
Pr Nathalie Meuleman

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
Pierrick Luystermans
Aude Sauvage

Secretariat
Vanessa Vanpevenage

03/02/2020

 Scientific publications

Immuno-comparative screening of adult-derived human liver stem/progenitor cells for immune-inflammatory-associated molecules.

Authors : Merimi M, Lagneaux L, Lombard CA, Agha DM, Bron D, Lewalle P, Meuleman N, Najimi M, Sokal EM, Najar M
Year : 2021
Journal : Inflamm Res

Biomarkers for Early Diagnosis of Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis in Critically Ill Patients.

Authors : Debaugnies F, Mahadeb B, Nagant C, Meuleman N, De Bels D, Wolff F, Gottignies P, Salaroli A, Borde P, Voué M, Corazza F
Year : 2021
Journal : J Clin Immunol

New Anti-Leukemic Effect of Carvacrol and Thymol Combination through Synergistic Induction of Different Cell Death Pathways.

Authors : Bouhtit F, Najar M, Moussa Agha D, Melki R, Najimi M, Sadki K, Boukhatem N, Bron D, Meuleman N, Hamal A, Lagneaux L, Lewalle P, Merimi M
Year : 2021
Journal : Molecules
Volume : 26

Health-related quality of life and utility outcomes with selinexor in relapsed/refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

Authors : Shah J, Shacham S, Kauffman M, Daniele P, Tomaras D, Tremblay G, Casasnovas RO, Maerevoet M, Zijlstra J, Follows G, P Vermaat JS, Kalakonda N, Goy AH, Choquet S, Den Neste EV, Hill BT, Thieblemont C, Cavallo F, la Cruz F, Kuruvilla J, Hamad N, Bouabdallah R, Jäger U, Caimi P, Gurion R, Warzocha K, Bakhshi S, Sancho JM, Schuster M, Egyed M, Offner F, Vasilakopoulos TP, Samal P, Nagy A, Ku M, Canales Albendea MÁ
Year : 2021
Journal : Future Oncol

Importance of Crosstalk Between Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Cells and the Stromal Microenvironment: Direct Contact, Soluble Factors, and Extracellular Vesicles.

Authors : Dubois N, Crompot E, Meuleman N, Bron D, Lagneaux L, Stamatopoulos B
Year : 2020
Journal : Front Oncol
Volume : 10
Pages : 1422