Terese Hammond, MD, on Evolving Treatments for ARDS and More With Immunotherapy


The director of the CCU/ICU at Saint John’s Health Center discussed a possible more collaborative approach to treating patients in the future.

“Immunology has changed a lot since we were in medical school. I think we forget that immunology has progressed at light speeds, it is a much different world now than it was 10, 15, or 20 years ago. And I think it behooves all of us to reinvigorate our interest and brush up our knowledge about immunobiology and immunotherapy.”

While cell and gene therapies have seen lots of growth and advancements in oncology and rare diseases in the last couple of decades, progress may have stalled in other treatment areas, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which increased in prevalence during the pandemic when patients with COVID-associated ARDS began to arrive at emergency departments.

Terese Hammond, MD, pulmonologist and medical director, cardiac care unit/intensive care unit, Saint John’s Health Center, is an investigator on a phase 1/2 trial (NCT04582201) evaluating AgenT-797 (MiNK Therapeutics), an allogeneic off-the-shelf invariant natural killer T-cell therapy in patients with COVID-19-associated ARDS in addition to mechanical ventilation or ECMO. The therapy was recently found to be well-tolerated and improved survival in these patients.

CGTLive spoke with Hammond to learn more about the potential applications of cell therapy, outside of oncologic or rare disease indications, in areas where standard-of-care options have largely remained the same for many years, like ARDS. She stressed that clinicians of all specialties should familiarize themselves with immunotherapy and cell therapy and keep up to date on advances in these fields. She also noted that the field of medicine as a whole shouldopen up from its traditional siloed approach to treating patients to move forward in the future.

Purbhoo MA, Yigit B, Moskowitz D, et al. Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cell therapy (agenT-797) in subjects with moderate to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) secondary to SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). Presented at: SITC 37th Annual Meetin,g November 8-12, 2022, in Boston, Massachusetts. Poster #649
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