RUSH Cancer Center researchers are among the first to develop and test treatments that improve the immune system’s ability to eliminate cancer.
One is tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes — or TILS — an experimental cell therapy being developed for patients with advanced-stage solid tumors, providing an option when tumors don’t respond to standard chemotherapy.
“We retrieve a person’s own cancer-fighting white blood cells from the solid tumor,” says Sunita Nathan, MD, associate director of the Section of Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapy, “reengineer and expand these cells in the lab, and then reintroduce them into the body where they find and more precisely attack the tumor cells.”
Dr. Nathan has worked in the RUSH oncology department for 15 years, and she sees the opportunity to offer this new immunotherapy as an exciting step forward for patients and RUSH providers.
The RUSH Cancer Center in the Joan and Paul Rubschlager Building will be a launching pad for groundbreaking immunotherapies, and a home to spaces designed for optimum cancer care, like the TIL therapy. The new RUSH Cancer Center will offer cutting-edge research, clinical trials and training.
“TIL therapy is primarily being done in the inpatient setting currently. The new RUSH Cancer Center affords a state-of-the-art space to do a significant portion of this treatment in the outpatient setting,” she says.
With the construction of the Rubschlager Building, as well as the recruitment of top clinical and research leaders, RUSH has solidified its place on the forefront of transformational developments in cellular therapy and cancer care in the Chicago area and the nation.
The Joan and Paul Rubschlager Building is a destination for state-of-the-art outpatient care in cancer, neurosciences, digestive diseases and more. These stories of impact highlight what RUSH means to its patients, providers, employees and community — and illustrate how the Rubschlager Building supports RUSH in providing excellent patient care.