MetroHealth has started work on a new lab that will offer cancer patients CAR T-cell therapy, fulfilling a promise of the Innovation District, according to a news release.
The Car T-cell lab, expected to open in September, is funded in part by JobsOhio, the state's nonprofit economic development corporation, according to the release. Construction began this week to renovate labs in MetoHealth's Rammelkamp Research Center for the project, which is part of the Innovation District, a partnership between MetroHealth, Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland State University and University Hospitals.
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Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is a relatively new form of treatment considered to have less side effects than chemotherapy or radiation treatments, according to the release.
CAR T-cell therapy changes T-cells — a certain type of white blood cell — in a lab so they can find, fight and destroy cancer cells, according to the release, which notes the new lab will produce cellular- and vector-based therapies to treat cancer.
Only patients with extensive insurance coverage have been able to access this immunotherapy treatment, but MetroHealth aims to offer the groundbreaking treatment to a larger group of patients, according to the release.
"This innovation allows The MetroHealth System to continue as one of the nation's pioneers in research and to make outstanding medical testing, screening and cancer treatment available to a large, diverse population and, in many cases, to patients who haven't had access in the past," said Dr. William Tse, MetroHealth's director of hematology/oncology, in a provided statement.
This story first appeared in our sister publication, Crain's Cleveland Business.