Rescuing T-Cell Function for Immunotherapy of Pediatric Malignancies
David M. Barrett, MD, PhD
Essential to effective CD19 CAR T therapy is the ability to harvest enough healthy T cells from a patient. Unfortunately, as many as 25% of patients do not benefit from CAR T therapy because their T cells are either dead or crippled from their underlying disease or the chemotherapy they have received. Dr. Barrett set out to characterize the metabolic pathways in T cell samples from newly diagnosed pediatric cancers and from patients who are eligible for CD19 CAR T treatment. To assess the impact of chemotherapy on T cell function, he also set out to conduct similar metabolic pathway analyses on normal donor T cells exposed to different chemotherapeutics. He is poised to design interventions to reverse the metabolic defect/s that they observe.
Dr. Barrett obtained his MD/PhD (molecular biology and genetics) at Virginia Commonwealth University. He completed his residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology. He is currently an assistant professor in Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania and an attending physician in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Division of Oncology, Transplant and Cellular Therapy Section.