Clinical Cell Therapy
The Clinical Cell Therapy laboratory (CCT) is an integral part of the Leukemia / Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) Program of British Columbia. The FACT accredited laboratory is responsible for preparing hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) for transplant. Blood or bone marrow HPCs are collected from cancer patients (autologous HPCs) or healthy donors (allogeneic HPCs) and cryopreserved in the laboratory. They are then stored at ultra low temperatures in liquid nitrogen until the patient has received high dose chemotherapy. The cells are then thawed and transfused into the patient to allow recovery of normal blood counts. HPC transplants can be prescribed for a variety of cancers such as leukemia, myeloma or lymphoma. Under the direction of Dr. Donna Hogge, the CCT’s trained staff processes, cryopreserves, and stores HPC collections in a secured laboratory until the patient is ready for transplant. Successfully preparing and storing these cells is accomplished through strict adherence to validated protocols and rigorous monitoring of the storage freezers, controlled rate freezers and transport containers.
Over the past 30 years, HPC collections have been processed and cryopreserved to help patients from throughout British Columbia. Currently, over 500 patient products are stored in the laboratory’s liquid nitrogen vapour phase freezers. Approximately 400 procedures were performed in 2017 alone.
Currently, the staff is involved in several new protocols which range from double cord transplants, CAR-T cell infusions, serum eyedrops and photodynamic treatment of cells for GVHD.
The Clinical Cell Therapy laboratory will continue to play a key role in facilitating the design and implementation of new cellular therapies for patients of the Leukemia/BMT Program.