Stephan A. Grupp, MD, PhD – Program Chair
Director of the Cancer Immunotherapy Program
Director of Translational Research for the Center for Childhood Cancer Research
Medical Director of the Stem Cell Laboratory
The Children’s Hospital Philadelphia (CHOP)
Stephan A. Grupp, MD, PhD, is Director of the Cancer Immunotherapy Program, Director of Translational Research for the Center for Childhood Cancer Research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Medical Director of the Stem Cell Laboratory.
Working with colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania, they have recently opened a phase I clinical trial called CART19 (CTL019), using genetically modified T cells to treat patients with B cell cancers such as ALL, B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), the adult disease chronic lymphocytic leukemia and other B cell malignancies. Initial results show that this could be an effective therapy for patients with B cell cancers. This has received international attention, and some of this work has been published recently in Science Translational Medicine and twice in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Dr. Grupp works with patients with the most aggressive form of neuroblastoma. He and his team were part of the group that did the nationwide clinical trial establishing antibody-based immunotherapy as the new standard of care in neuroblastoma.
In the Stem Cell Laboratory, he manages cell processing, both collecting the original cells and engineering the cells to the right cell type. Working with a group of four institutions, he and his team pioneered the tandem transplant treatment — two sequential courses of high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplant given six weeks apart. This clinical trial was open for about 10 years and achieved three-year survival rates of almost 60 percent, three times the survival rate before stem cell transplants, and still the best phase 2 treatment result in the world literature. This tandem transplant approach has also now been tested in a nationwide phase 3 trial, which was also successful and has established tandem transplantation as the U.S. standard of care.
Dr. Grupp has developed a new class of drugs for acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL, the most common childhood cancer), based on a target in the ALL cell called mTOR, and have taken this treatment to another nationwide phase 3 randomized trial. Dr. Grupp trained at Harvard, at Boston Children’s and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and came to CHOP in 1996.
[su_divider]Helen E. Heslop, MD, DSc (Hon)
Professor, Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics
Dan L. Duncan Chair, Baylor College of Medicine
Interim Director, Center for Cell and Gene Therapy
Associate Director Clinical Research
Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine
Director, Adult Stem Cell Transplant Program
Helen E. Heslop, MD, DSc, is Dan L. Duncan Chair, Baylor College of Medicine; Interim Director, Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine; Director, Adult Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Program, Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Methodist, and Texas Children’s Hospital; Associate Director for Clinical Research, Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine; and Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Medicine, and Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine.
Her research interests are in adoptive immunotherapy for malignancy and viral infections. Dr. Heslop oversees several peer-reviewed clinical research projects, including: an NCI-funded program project grant (Enhancing T-Cell Therapy of Cancer); a SPORE grant in Lymphoma; and a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) award. Her clinical interests are immunotherapy of malignancies with antigen specific T cells, and immunotherapy with antigen specific T cells to prevent and treat viral infections post transplant.
Dr. Heslop is a Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist and has extensive experience in mentoring both clinical and laboratory trainees. She is also the principal investigator on an NHLBI-funded training grant in Cell and Gene Therapy. She has extensive experience with clinical cell therapy studies, and serves with Dr. Malcolm Brenner and Bambi Grilley as sponsor for over 20 active cell and gene therapy therapy INDs.
Dr. Heslop has served as past president of the ASBMT. She received her MD from University of Otago, New Zealand.