Inside a small bag that attaches to a tube in a patient’s arm is the future of cancer treatment. Within a bag of thick liquid are cells that have been harvested from the patient’s own blood, then re-engineered in a lab to become a personalized army of highly effective, microscopic serial killers with one mission: Target and destroy cancer cells on sight.
It sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, but it represents the way cancer scientists are harnessing the power of cellular and immune-based cancer therapies at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) and the Pelotonia Institute for Immuno-Oncology (PIIO).
In a conversation with Modern Healthcare Custom Media, Dr. Zihai Li, founding director of the PIIO, and Dr. Yiping Yang, director of the Division of Hematology at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, discuss how they are advancing the field of immuno-oncology for the benefit of patients impacted by cancer.
Dr. Zihai Li is a career immunologist and a board-certified medical oncologist. In 2019, he became the founding director of the Pelotonia Institute for Immuno-Oncology at the OSUCCC – James, where he guides this benchto- bedside initiative that is a leader in driving immunooncology breakthroughs toward cancer cures.
Dr. Yiping Yang is a nationally recognized expert in cancer immunology and immunotherapy who serves as the director of the Division of Hematology at the OSUCCC – James. His research interests focus on tumor immunology and viral immunity, with the ultimate goal of developing effective immunotherapy approaches for treating cancer. Dr. Yang is also a member of the Leukemia Research Program at the OSUCCC – James.