John DiPersio, MD, PhD, on Ongoing Advancements in Stem Cell Transplantation and Cell Therapy


The director of the Center for Gene and Cellular Immunotherapy at Washington University School of Medicine discussed novel innovations that lie on the horizon.

“We've been working hard to understand the biology of CRS, and we've identified several key pathways that when interfered with reduce the amount of CRS.”

Over the past few decades, and even just the past few years, the use of stem cell transplantation and cell therapy, especially chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T therapy), has come a very long way, particularly in the fields of oncology and hematology. Despite all of the rapid advancements, however, further research is still ongoing, and many new innovations lie on the short-term and long-term horizon that could help improve the efficacy and/or safety of these treatment methods.

John DiPersio, MD, PhD, the director of the Center for Gene and Cellular Immunotherapy at Washington University School of Medicine, spoke about some of these ongoing advancements in a talk entitled “Is Stem Cell Transplantation in 2023 Just Copacetic?” at the 2024 Tandem Meetings |Transplantation & Cellular Therapy Meetings of ASTCT and CIBMTR, held in San Antonio, Texas, February 21-24, 2024. The talk, which was part of the E. Donnall Thomas Lecture, incorporated DiPersio’s long history of personal experience and participation in the field of transplantation.

Shortly before the talk, CGTLive® sat down with DiPersio for an interview. DiPersio went over the key points he would be discussing during the session and what he sees as the main takeaways for the healthcare community. Some specific areas of interest he noted were novel ways to mobilize stem cells for transplantation and gene therapy; novel inhibitors for the treatment of graft versus host disease; novel conditioning regimens for transplant that don’t use radiation, chemotherapy, or antibody drug conjugates; and the use of CAR-T to treat relapse after transplant. DiPersio also noted some challenges that are of interest to address in the future, such as prevention of cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and difficulties with targeting T-cell malignancies.

Click here for more coverage of Tandem 2024.

1. DiPersio JF. Is Stem Cell Transplantation in 2023 Just Copacetic?. Presented at: 2024 Tandem Meetings, February 21-24, San Antonio, Texas.
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