Penn Vet | CCC Clinical Trials - Re-directed Autologous T cell Therapy for B cell lymphoma or B Cell Leukemia
New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
Emergencies & Appointments:
Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA

Re-directed Autologous T cell Therapy for B cell lymphoma or B Cell Leukemia

Nov 1, 2020
Pilot Study of Re-directed Autologous T cell Therapy for CD20+ B cell malignancies


In this approach, immune cells (known as T cells) are taken from the peripheral blood, genetically modified in the laboratory to express a receptor that recognizes B cells, and then expanded to produce large numbers of tumor specific T cells outside of the body.

These genetically modified (re-directed) T cells are then infused back into the body where they will seek out B cells and kill them. This process is known as adoptive immunotherapy and the cells that are infused into the patients are known as chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CAR T cells).

The approach has shown promising results in people with blood cancers such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). More information about this approach in people can be found here:

Study Purpose:

The purpose of this study is to determine the safety and effectiveness of B cell specific CAR T cells to target and kill B cell malignancies. This study uses your dog’s own immune cells (T cells) obtained from a peripheral blood sample.

Your dog’s T cells will be genetically modified in the laboratory to become CART-20 cells designed to recognize, target, and kill CD20+ B cells. Your dog will receive chemotherapy prior to infusion and then  CART-20 cells will be infused back into your dog by an intravenous infusion (into a vein). It is hoped that these cells will seek out B cells and kill them, leading to a reduction in tumor burden and clinical remission.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Dogs with B cell lymphoma or B cell malignancies.
  • Dogs with confirmed expression of the target molecule (CD20) on the surface of their tumor cells (this can be determined at UPenn)
  • Dogs that weigh more than 10kg
  • Dogs whose T cells can be successfully grown and genetically modified in the laboratory
  • Dogs that have no other concurrent medical problems
  • Comments: At this time, we are enrolling patients in a sequential manner, meaning that the next patient will only be treated after the first patient has finished their course of therapy.


If you are interested in participating in this clinical trial or would like to learn more about it, please contact:

Dr. Nicola Mason
Phone: 215-898-3996

Learn more about Dr. Mason's canine cancer immunotherapy research...