On April 28, 2023, Children’s National celebrated the 35th anniversary of our Blood and Marrow Transplant (B.M.T.) programs and the tenth anniversary of our Cell Enhancement and Technologies for Immunotherapy (C.E.T.I.) program. Highlights of the evening included a presentation from keynote speaker Leslie Kean, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Stem Cell Transplant Center at the Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders and a moving tribute acknowledging the accomplishments of the programs by Kurt Newman, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Children’s National.
David Jacobsohn, M.D., Sc.M., M.B.A., Division Chief of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, the only dedicated pediatric B.M.T. program in the region, spoke to how Children’s experts have performed more than 1,620 blood and marrow transplants and are nationally recognized as a leader in pediatric B.M.T. treatment advances. Dr. Jacobsohn also described how striving to provide safe and innovative therapies has shaped the B.M.T. program’s treatment and research priorities. The priorities of the B.M.T. program are to: (i) decrease the burden of complications (e.g., G.V.H.D. and viral infections), (ii) reduce leukemia relapse after transplant, (iii) decrease the intensity of the treatment regimens, (iv) increase B.M.T. access for all and (v) offer outstanding and compassionate care to the patients and families we serve.
Catherine Bollard, M.D., M.B.Ch.B., Center Director for the Center for Cancer and Immunology Research and Program Director of C.E.T.I., emphasized how unique C.E.T.I. is as a program due to its partnership with George Washington University and our local collaborations with N.I.H. and Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Bollard also highlighted the mission of the program to develop novel cell therapeutics to pave the way to advance care for patients with cancer and immune-mediated disorders.
In its inaugural year in 2013, the C.E.T.I. program hit the ground running with the first investigational new drug (I.N.D.) submission and approval, opening the G.M.P. facility and manufacturing the first I.N.D. cell therapy product. Placing the mission and vision at the heart of all activities of C.E.T.I., the program has not slowed down in the past ten years. The program is now comprised of over 80 faculty and staff members, generates over $6.5 million per year in N.I.H. and peer-reviewed funding and has secured over $25 million in philanthropic support. The Program has submitted over 25 I.N.D. applications to the F.D.A. over the past 10 years and, most importantly, has treated over 250 patients at Children’s with cutting-edge, innovative cell therapies for the treatment of cancer, virus infections and other immune-mediated disorders.