Researcher Spotlight: Owhofasa Agbedia, MBBS, MPH
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS M.D. ANDERSON CANCER CENTER
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapies involve the re-engineering of a patient’s own
immune cells to help them find and fight cancer cells within the body. This treatment approach has been very effective for several types of lymphoma. However, in some cancers such as NK/T-cell lymphoproliferative disorders, the development of CAR T cell therapy has been challenging as a unique tumor-specific target has not yet been identified. The goal of Dr. Agbedia’s research is to find an appropriate target that can be used to develop CAR T cell therapy for the treatment of these fast-growing lymphomas. “This is an exciting potential therapy that can offer a new healing option and improve patient outcomes,” he explains. “Our hope is that with the development of these CAR-T cells, patients will be afforded more time, a better quality of life, and greater hope of beating cancer altogether.”
Dr. Agbedia earned his medical degree from the University of Ibadan College of Medicine in Nigeria. He is currently a hematology and oncology fellow at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and is also studying for a Master of Science in cancer biology, immunology, and immunotherapy. Building on the work from his LRF research, Dr. Agbedia hopes to one day become an independent translational researcher leading a program focused on the development of immunotherapies for aggressive lymphoid cancers. “The research mentorship and experience I will gain during this project will provide me with the scientific skills and knowledge that can be integrated into the front lines of patient care and cancer research during the next steps in my career as a translational researcher,” he says.