Medical oncologist Renier Brentjens describes an innovative therapy developed at Memorial Sloan-Kettering in which a patient's own T cells are modified in the laboratory with an artificial receptor (chimeric antigen receptor, or CAR) that can be focused on specific cancer cell proteins. Researchers used this approach to modify T cells to recognize the CD19 protein, which is active in some patients with leukemia and lymphoma. In a phase I clinical trial designed to determine the optimal dose of the therapy and to assess its effectiveness, investigators witnessed a dramatic response, with all participants achieving remission. Isabelle Rivière, Director of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cell Therapy and Engineering Facility, notes that Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s ability to modify these T cells on-site makes it possible for the institution to be the first to evaluate this novel treatment in patients. Memorial Sloan-Kettering is now looking for partners at other centers to participate in a larger multicenter phase II study of this promising therapy.