Center for Cellular Therapy Opens at Hollings Cancer Center:
Skin and Liver Cancer Primary Targets of Research
Dr. Michael Nishimura has skin and liver cancer high on the list of targets for cellular research at MUSC’s newly opened Center for Cellular Therapy.
The Center opened Jan. 30 at the Hollings Cancer Center where Dr. Nishimura and his colleagues are working to create cellular products for patients. In particular, the researchers focus on modifying T-cells that can potentially be used to fight cancer.
Melanoma and hepatocellular (liver) are the first two types of cancers investigated for susceptibility to this therapy. Worldwide, about 3% of the population is infected with Hepatitis C, a risk factor for the developing hepatocellular cancer. Since neither metastatic melanoma nor hepatocellular cancer currently have effective treatments, researchers are modifying T-cells to recognize and attack cancer cells.
This new approach may eventually offer hope to patients and their families.
Dr. Nishimura anticipates it will take a year or two for the Center for Cellular Therapy to meet regulatory requirements and raise financial support for research in this area.
Dr. Nishimura is Vice Chair for Research in Surgery and Program Leader for Cancer Immunology Research Center at Hollings Cancer Center.