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Lana Kandalaft, PharmD, MTR, PhD

Lana Kandalaft, PharmD, MTR, PhD

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Adjunct Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Department: Obstetrics and Gynecology

Contact information
University of Pennsylvania
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Ovarian Cancer Research Center
3400 Civic Center Blvd.
SCTR 8-105
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6160
Office: 215-573-4782
Fax: 215-573-5129
GSCE (General Certificate of Secondary Education)
London Examination (honors), 1995.
University of Jordan School of Pharmacy, Amman Jordan (cum laude), 2000.
PhD (Pharmaceutical Cell Biology and Drug Delivery)
Welsh School of Pharmacy, Cardiff University, UK, 2003.
MTR (Master of Science in Translational Research)
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, 2012.
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Description of Clinical Expertise

Dr. Kandalaft, along with faculty researchers at the Ovarian Cancer Research Center, is interested in moving the biologically-focused research ideas into clinical trials. Dr. Kandalaft plays an integral role in the development and implementation of these clinical protocols stemming from the laboratory discoveries of the OCRC and the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute (AFCRI). Her role encompasses working with researches in the laboratory to finalize pre-clinical data required for IND submission, supervising the regulatory team and the clinical team to ensure compliance with FDA, IRB and CTSMRC regulations and coordinating with the business team, clinical team of nurses, sub investigators, clinical fellows and core directors to ensure a seamless clinical operation at the OCRC.

The clinical program at the Ovarian Cancer Research Center encompasses a wide range of novel translational therapies for the treatment of ovarian cancer including:

Cancer Vaccines: Vaccines have been the main approach to ovarian cancer immunotherapy as with many other tumor types. Consistent with experience in other immunogenic tumors, vaccines have shown limited efficacy as monotherapy in patients with advanced recurrent disease. Current efforts to improve vaccines are directed broadly towards a) optimizing the choice of antigens; b) improving vaccine delivery systems to maximize the magnitude and quality of T-cell response; and c) developing combinatorial approaches with adoptive T-cell or immunomodulation therapy to maximize activation and function of vaccine-primed T-cells in vivo. We currently testing some of these approaches in our center with a pilot phase I clinical trial.

Cell-based Immunotherapy: Effective cancer immunotherapy is dependent on the presence of large numbers of anti-tumor lymphocytes with appropriate homing and effector functions that enable them to seek out and destroy cancer cells in vivo. The presence of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in ovarian cancers positively correlates with improved survival. Our hypothesis is that TIL represent a tumor-reactive T cell population with the potential for use in the immunotherapeutic treatment of ovarian cancer. We are currently preparing to develop and test the feasibility of adoptive cellular therapy for the treatment of patients with ovarian cancer in a phase I clinical trial.

Genetically-modified Cell Therapy: Recent clinical trials have demonstrated the feasibility, safety and preliminary efficacy of redirecting T-cells of patients with cancer using tumor antigen-specific T cell receptors (TCRs) to arbitrate objective cancer regression. TCR-based engineering represents a potentially powerful strategy for ovarian cancer therapy. Optimization of this approach is currently being investigated by selection of naturally occurring or recombinant high affinity receptors, engineering to prevent recombination with endogenous TCR, and the use of lentiviral vectors. Additionally, modification of T cells to express genes encoding chimeric immune receptors capable of recognizing intact cancer cell- or tumor vasculature-specific surface proteins will be investigated.

Dr. Kandalaft works closely with Dr. Coukos to develop a Regional Ovarian Cancer Network, and to develop Industry and Biotech partnerships for future clinical studies.

Selected Publications

Kandalaft Lana E, Kalos Michael, Melief Cornelis Jm, Speiser Daniel E, Coukos George: Conference Scene: Immune signatures in the tumor and beyond. Immunotherapy 4(8): 761-72, Aug 2012.

Kandalaft Lana E, Powell Daniel J, Coukos George: A phase I clinical trial of adoptive transfer of folate receptor-alpha redirected autologous T cells for recurrent ovarian cancer. Journal of translational medicine 10: 157, 2012.

Chiang Cheryl Lai-Lai, Kandalaft Lana E, Coukos George: Adjuvants for enhancing the immunogenicity of whole tumor cell vaccines. International reviews of immunology 30(2-3): 150-82, Apr-Jun 2011.

Kandalaft LE, Powell DJ, Smith L, Adams S, Liao J, Hageman A, Tanyi J, Ye Q, Best A, Torigian D, Chu C, Rubin C, Bosch M, Levine B, Stadtmauer E, June CH, Coukos G: Adoptive Immunotherapy for Recurrent Ovarian Cancer Using Autologous Whole Tumor Antigen-Primed T Lymphocytes. Poster, Keystone Symposium Meeting, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Feb 2011.

Kandalaft LE, Motz GT, Duraiswamy J, Coukos G: Tumor immune surveillance and ovarian cancer: lessons on immune mediated tumor rejection or tolerance. Cancer Metastasis Rev 30(1):141-51, 2011.

Chiang LL, Kandalaft LE, Coukos G: Adjuvants for Enhancing the Immunogenicity of Whole Tumor Cell Vaccines. Internat Rev Immunol 30(2-3):150-82, 2011.

Chiang Cheryl L-L, Maier Dawn A, Kandalaft Lana E, Brennan Andrea L, Lanitis Evripidis, Ye Qunrui, Levine Bruce L, Czerniecki Brian J, Powell Daniel J, Coukos George: Optimizing parameters for clinical-scale production of high IL-12 secreting dendritic cells pulsed with oxidized whole tumor cell lysate. Journal of translational medicine 9: 198, 2011.

Chiang Cheryl Lai-Lai, Hagemann Andrea R, Leskowitz Rachel, Mick Rosemarie, Garrabrant Thomas, Czerniecki Brian J, Kandalaft Lana E, Powell Daniel J, Coukos George: Day-4 myeloid dendritic cells pulsed with whole tumor lysate are highly immunogenic and elicit potent anti-tumor responses. PloS one 6(12): e28732, 2011.

Kandalaft LE, Coukos G: Clinical Translation Section: Accelerating the pace from bench to bedside. J Translat Med 9:116, 2011.

Kandalaft LE, Coukos G: Clinical Translation Section: Accelerating the pace from bench to bedside. J Translat Med 9:116, 2011.

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Last updated: 10/09/2015
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