Department of Medicine

Division of Oncology

Section of Bone Marrow Transplantation & Leukemia

Center for Gene & Cellular Immunotherapy (CGCI)


The clinical, scientific and administrative home of the CGCI exist within the Section of BMT and Leukemia in the Division of Oncology. All patients treated on any cellular and gene therapy protocol are managed by the BMT and Leukemia physicians on the inpatient bone marrow transplant floor, allowing for expert medical care and aggressive 24-hour monitoring to manage all complications of these therapies. The CGCI, as an independent yet integral component program within the Bursky Center for Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Programs (CHiiPs), complements other strong existing programs offering immunomodulatory antibody-based cancer immunotherapies and personalized cancer vaccine therapies. It benefits from the immunomonitoring capabilities and cutting-edge research tools offered by ChiiPs to assess the effects of cellular therapy on immune responses to patients' cancers and link these to therapeutic outcomes. The inclusion of the CGCI program within CHiiPs will broaden the range of cancer immunotherapies currently available through the Bursky Center and facilitate development of new and potentially more effective immunotherapy combinations.

Our mission is to:

(1) Develop innovative gene and cellular therapies and T/NK cell engagers with the goal of improving efficacy and decreasing side effects and bringing these therapies from bench to bedside
(2) Conduct innovative clinical trials in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies with the goal of providing access to these therapies for our patients in the region
(3) Deliver these therapies in clinical trials or as standard of care in the safest and most effective way




John F. DiPersio, MD, PhD, the Virginia E. and Sam J. Golman Professor of Medicine in Oncology and director of the Division of Oncology at the School of Medicine and deputy director of Siteman Cancer Center, and oncologist Armin Ghobadi, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at the School of Medicine who treats patients at Siteman, discuss CAR-T cell thereapy.



Amanda Cashen, MD, examines patient Marie Miceli at Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Miceli successfully responded to a new immunotherapy — called CAR-T cell therapy — that targets certain blood cancers. Siteman is one of the first centers nationwide to offer the new treatment for certain types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

(Video: Huy Mach and Gaia Remerowski)


CAR T-cell Therapy

A patient's T cells are isolated from the blood and modified in a way that lets the T cells specifically home in on the type of cell affected by the cancer. These modified T cells have been dubbed CAR-T cells, which stands for chimeric antigen receptor T cells. Once a CAR-T cell finds its target, it behaves as any T cell should — triggering a chain of reactions that destroys the target cell.

(Image: Huy Mach/Washington University)

Hot lines for referrals and questions:
314-273-CELL (314-273-2355)
1-833-273-CELL (1-833-273-2355)