• Wisconsin Lions

Flow Cytometer Update

by IPCC Jodi Burmester - 608-444- 91423 or

It’s been just over a year since the first flow cytometer, purchased for the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) Cell Therapy Lab, was put into use. As most will recall, this $200,000 piece of equipment was purchased through a matching grant from Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), the Wisconsin Lions and MACC Fund. The Wisconsin Lion reached out to MCW Cell Therapy Lab Director, Dr. Bryon Johnson at the end of December for an update.

WL: Can you give the Lions an update on the status of Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the children's t-cell cancer study?

JOHNSON: We are getting everything ready on the flow cytometer for the anticipated Children’s CAR-T study that should begin January of 2020. The process to get the study approved is long and involved, but we are almost there.

WL: How are adult and children’s CAR-T treatments impacting each other?

JOHNSON: As noted above, these clinical trial approvals take time. They MEDICAL COLLEGE OF WISCONSIN STAFF WHO CONDUCT IN-HOUSE CAR-T CELL WORK WITH THE FLOW CYTOMETER - Bryon Johnson, Katherine Chaney, Huiqing Xu, and Lawrence Luib. These individuals have been responsible for manufacturing all of the inhouse CAR-T cell products to date, and are also the individuals doing all of the patient monitoring after treatment. The team is very excited to get going on the upcoming Pediatric CAR-T trial. Flow Cytometer Update have to go through seven different committee approvals, as well as signoff by the FDA. Again, we are almost there. The Children’s study will be very important to our institution. We did finish the adult Phase I lymphoma trial about a month ago (25 treated patients), and the outcomes have been impressive. We will be writing up the results for publication in the next two months.

WL: Do you have any insight into the future of the research that the flow cytometer supports and potential results?

JOHNSON: The flow cytometer will be supporting two upcoming clinical trials: 1. The Children’s Phase I CD19/ CD20 CAR-T cell trial for children with B cell acute lymphocytic leukemia 2. A follow-up Phase I/II CD19/ CD20 CAR-T cell trial for adults with B cell lymphomas

WL: Is there anything else you would like to share with the Wisconsin Lions? JOHNSON: We are indebted to the generosity of the Lions Club that is allowing us to make a difference in the lives of current and future patients. The flow cytometer has been, and will continue to be a critically important piece of equipment for our in-house CAR-T cell trials. The Lions Clubs should feel free to indicate that they are directly supporting these trials as results become public. As with anything regarding clinical trials work, please be patient. We believe that these first in-human clinical trials will help save the lives of many children soon. As care providers, we are frustrated that things don’t happen more quickly, since lives are in the balance. So, the first flow cytometer that you helped fund is making a difference and will continue to do so. But that isn’t the end of the story. Thanks to your generous donations last Lion year, it was possible to fund a second LCIF grant to purchase another flow cytometer that was recently purchased and installed at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center in Madison. Updates on the positive impact these flow cytometers are having on the lives of children with cancer will be shared as they become available. For additional information on the Wisconsin Lions Children’s Cancer efforts, contact MD27 Chair, Lion Sri Vasudevan at drsrivasudevan@gmail. com or 414-232-7772.

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