Doug Myers, MD

Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Children's Mercy


Doug Myers is a clinician/scientist in the field of cell based immunotherapy.  His clinical practice is in the field of hematopoietic stem cell transplant.  His research interests include immune reconstitution post-stem cell transplant and solid tumor immunotherapy.  His passion is building research teams designed to rapidly bring innovative cellular therapies to clinical trials.  This passion arose from his experience in cell therapy bench and clinical research.  He was primary investigator on one of the first in human trials of chimeric antigen receptor technology from 2005 to 2008, holds an IND for allogeneic, GD2 CAR expressing viral specific T-cells in patients with neuroblastoma, and is a member of the study steering committee for Novartis’ trial of CD19 directed CAR T-cells in pediatric patients with relapsed/refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia.  He received his degree in Microbiology from Oklahoma State University, his MD from the University of Oklahoma where he also completed his residency in pediatrics.  He completed his pediatric hematology oncology fellowship at Texas Children’s Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.


Clinical Pediatric Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell Experience in the KC Region

Chimeric Antigen Receptor, or CAR, technology was conceived in the 1980’s as a potential immunotherapeutic strategy to be used in oncologic and autoimmune/inflammatory disease.  However, the first CAR therapy was not approved by the FDA until 2017 following clinical trials demonstrating impressive response rates and remission durations for patients with B-cell leukemias and lymphomas. CARs are molecules, in the case of cancer immunotherapy, that redirect the cellular cytotoxicity of an immune cell to a target other than its natural target.  As one of the most exciting advances in the treatment of relapsed/refractory hematologic malignancies, CAR technology allows the redirection of T-lymphocyte cytotoxicity from that of its native T-cell receptor, toward a cancer cell.   The impressive efficacy and safety of CAR T-cells in these malignancies has caused research in the field to boom.  And this “living drug,” has encouraged renewed interest in immunotherapies in general, raising hopes for treatments of life threatening illnesses that are more efficacious and have fewer early and late toxic effects.  We will discuss the rationale for CAR therapy in cancer and review the experience in the Kansas City region over the last 5 to 10 years in the field.  We will also discuss some future directions and opportunities for regional collaboration in the field of cell based immunotherapy.

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