Cellular Therapy Laboratory (CTL)
The Cellular Therapy Laboratory (CTL) at the RI-MUHC was created to enhance research capabilities using stem cells. Situated in the Centre for Innovative Medicine (CIM), the CTL collects and stores cells and tissues from healthy donors. It provides screening services for donors, undertakes fundamental research, adapts findings for clinical use, and transports and administers cells to patients in clinical research trials.
The CTL supports a variety of research needs. In clinical trials, cellular therapy is being studied as a treatment for Crohn’s disease, solid cancerous tumours, esophageal and stomach tumours, chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and several orphan diseases. The CTL laboratory also supports fundamental research. It has the capacity to isolate and freeze cells collected from apheresis, adipose tissue, and umbilical cord blood and tissue. CTL biobank stores tissues, as well as hematopoetic and mesenchymal stem cells. The Cellular Therapy Laboratory has been approved by the Research Ethics Board of the MUHC and is compliant with Health Canada and the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT).
Current research projects
The Cellular Therapy Laboratory (CTL) is involved in numerous research projects. Below are a few examples:
NEW CANCER TREATMENTS
The ZUMA-7 cancer randomized clinical trial tested the efficacy of stem cell transplantation versus immune therapy to treat cancer. The study is now closed and CAR-T immune cells are available for treatment of cancer at the MUHC. (Participating researcher: Kelly Davison, MD)
EXPANDING CELL-BASED IMMUNOTHERAPY RESEARCH
The ExCELLirate Canada Consortium, of which the CTL is a member, received a $5 million Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) grant in 2021 to increase patient access to immunotherapy while reducing treatment costs. (Participating researcher: Pierre Laneuville, MD)
STEM CELLS FOR BONE REGENERATION
Multidisciplinary approaches for bone regeneration using cell therapies and biomaterials is a 5-year study using mesenchymal stem cells for reconstructive surgery in children with bone malformations. The CTL isolated clinical grade mesenchymal stem cells from adipose tissues for pre-clinical trials. (Participating researcher: Regis Hamdi, MD)
CELL-BASED CANCER VACCINES
The Saint-Gobain - Kanyr Pharma - McGill - RI-MUHC - CTL Consortium is developing next-generation cell-based cancer vaccines. This collaboration between industry and academia is developing specialized cell processing equipment and processes for clinical trials of an anti-cancer vaccine for patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia. The CTL is responsible for cell procurement, processing and storage, infusion, and conducting the clinical trial once approved. (Participating researcher: Pierre Laneuville, MD)
STEM CELLS TO TREAT COVID-19
The CTL is participating in a study testing whether infusion of commercially-produced stem cells can alleviate lung damage in patients with COVID-19. The CTL is responsible for storage and infusing the cell product. (Participating researchers: Inés Colmegna, MD, James Martin, MD)
TREATING CEREBRAL PALSY WITH STEM CELLS
Published pre-clinical and clinical studies suggests that bank cord tissue stem cells at birth and implanting them in babies at risk of cerebral palsy may alleviate the effects of cerebral ischemia—restriction of blood flow to the brain. (Participating researcher: Richard Brown, MD)
REDUCING KIDNEY TRANSPLANT REJECTION
The CTL is assisting in a study to determine whether stem cells can reduce rates of organ rejection in kidney transplant patients. When a patient receives a kidney transplant, it typically does not function correctly for 2-12 weeks, and is at risk for rejection. Stem cells may be able to reduce this period, helping the kidney become functional sooner. (Participating researcher: Jean Tchervenkov, MD)
Linda Peltier, PhD
Laboratory Manager, CTL
Dr. Peltier holds a PhD in experimental medicine, is an international inspector with FACT, a certified nurse, and former Transplant Quebec coordinator. She established Canada’s first public cord blood bank at Héma Québec.
Medical Director, CTL
Dr. Brown is Director of the Divisions of Obstetrics and Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the MUHC and Associate Professor of obstetrics and gynecology at McGill University. He is director of ObGyn ultrasound and obstetric director of the Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment Group.
To contact the Cellular Therapy Laboratory: firstname.lastname@example.org