Cell-based therapies for cancer treatment: leveraging advanced flow cytometry for greater clinical insight

Published: 11 October 2021
Innovator Insight
Rong Fan, PhD,
Rong Fan, PhD
Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Yale University
Tamara J Laskowski, PhD,
Tamara J Laskowski, PhD
Scientific Project Director, Adoptive Cell Therapy Platform, Dept. of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy MD Anderson Cancer Center
Dr. Tamara J. Laskowski received her doctorate degree in Human Molecular Genetics and Immunology from University of Texas Health Science Center where her work focused on genome editing of patient-derived stem cells to correct genetic mutations causative of Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome, an immunodeficiency disorder that results in severe impairments to the immune system. Subsequently, Tamara joined Dr. Laurence J.N. Cooper’s laboratory at MD Anderson Cancer Center as a fellow. Her work focused on engineering stem cells with the goal of generating off-the-shelf NK and T-cell immunotherapies for targeting solid tumor malignancies. Though Tamara remains as a collaborator in the Cooper laboratory, her work has led her to transition to Dr. James Allison’s Immunotherapy Platform at MD Anderson. In her new role as Senior Research Scientist, Dr. Laskowski’s work primarily involves immune-monitoring of patients undergoing clinical trials in Immunotherapy and development of novel immunoassays. Dr. Laskowski also shares an interest in technology innovation, and has developed multi-plex assays for testing therapies against solid tumors. In 2017, this work led to an invitation to participate in the National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation Corps, an exclusive program through which she was trained to develop strategies for expanding the economic and societal benefits of innovative ideas which have commercialization potential. She was the sole recipient of an award for outstanding performance upon completion of the program. In addition to her research work, Dr. Laskowski participates in several educational programs at MD Anderson. She is a lecturer at MD Anderson’s School of Health Professions and also serves as a scientific communications coach teaching students and fellows how to effectively communicate science and medicine with scientific and lay audiences.
Nina Senutovitch, PhD
Nina Senutovitch, PhD
Senior Scientist, Product Development, Cell Analytics, Sartorius
Dr. Nina Senutovitch received her BS in Biochemistry from New Mexico State University. She completed her PhD in Biological Sciences from Carnegie Mellon University, where she developed and detailed the function of novel fluorescent probes. As a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pittsburgh, she established biosensor-based live cell screening assays for the detection of hepatotoxicity, including the use of a human liver “organ on a chip” model. She joined Sartorius in 2019 as a Senior Scientist in Cell Analytics

The limitations of traditional cell and secreted protein analysis methods, which are low-throughput or lack the ability to capture dynamic immune cell data, are driving the need for innovative tools to link insights on immune cell health, proliferation, and phenotype, as well as cytokine secretion profiles. In this article, an expert panel discusses the practical advantages of advanced flow cytometry over traditional methods to purify and phenotype patient immune cells, and how this approach can be used to streamline development of CAR T and CAR NK therapies.

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