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Immunotherapy Team

The Karmanos Immunotherapy Team uses therapies utilizing the body’s natural defense system, the immune system to fight cancers including:

  • Breast
  • Colon
  • Myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Pancreatic and colon

The team includes researchers and physicians specializing in adult immunotherapy hematology and oncology, pediatric immunotherapy hematology and oncology, as well as stem cell transplantation.

Karmanos’ Immunotherapy Team is the only team in the country specializing in a treatment that combines cell- and antibody-based therapy, or bispecific antibody-targeted T cell immunotherapy,  to help “clean up” remaining cancerous cells after the patient has gone through chemotherapy

The members of this team are also members of other Karmanos’ Cancer Care Teams including the Bone Marrow, Gastrointestinal, Hematology, Breast Cancer and Genitourinary Teams.

Immunotherapy Research

Members of the team are currently working on research and clinical trials in the following areas:

  • Clinical trial evaluating the effects of administering coated T cells after chemotherapy on breast cancer patients with triple negative, stage II-III breast cancers.
  • Immunotherapy trials looking at armed activated T cell infusions in breast, colorectal and pancreatic cancer patients.
  • Clinical studies in the field of kidney, prostate, and bladder cancers
  • Clinical studies using targeted T-Cell therapy in lymphoma, myeloma and leukemias

Find an Immunotherapy Clinical Trial

Meet Our Team

Zaid Al-Kadhimi, M.D.

  • Hematology & Medical Oncology
  • Member of Karmanos’ Bone Marrow Transplant multidisciplinary team
  • Residency (s): Apr 1993 – Nov 1993 Resident, American University of Beirut. Department of Anesthesiology. Beirut, Lebanon and 1994 – 1997 Resident, Henry Ford Hospital. Detroit, MI.
  • Fellowship (s): Nov 1998 – Oct 2001 Fellow, Department of Hematology/Medical Oncology and Therapeutic Research, City of Hope National Medical Center. Duarte, CA and Nov 2001 – Oct 2003 Bone Marrow Transplantation Fellow, Division of Hematology and Heamtopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, City of Hope. Duarte, CA.
  • Research: Co-investigator on an immunotherapy clinical trial evaluating the effects of administering coated T cells after chemotherapy on breast cancer patients with triple negative, stage II-III breast cancers.

Minsig Choi

  • Hematology & Medical Oncology
  • Member of Karmanos’ Gastrointestinal multidisciplinary team
  • Internal Medicine Residency: Chicago Medical school, Chicago, IL
  • Hematology Oncology Fellowship: Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
  • Research : Principal investigator for the immunotherapy trials looking at armed activated T cell infusions in colorectal and pancreatic cancer patients.

Abhinav Deol, M.D. 

  • Internal Medicine
  • Member of Karmanos’ Bone Marrow Transplant and Hematology multidisciplinary teams
  • Residency and Fellowship Training: Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
  • Research: Co-investigator on federally funded immunotherapy trials looking at armed activated T-cell infusions in breast cancer patients. 

Elaina Gartner, M.D.

  • Medical Oncology & Internal Medicine
  • Member of Karmanos’ Breast Cancer multidisciplinary team
  • Residency: Internal Medicine - The University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinic; Iowa City, IA
  • Fellowship: Hematology/Oncology - University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center; Ann Arbor, MI

Lawrence Lum, M.D., D.S.c

  • Professor of Oncology, Medicine, and Immunology & Microbiology
  • Director of Immunotherapy and Scientific Director of BMT
  • Member of Karmanos’ BMTransplant, Breast Cancer, GI, and GU  multidisciplinary teams
  • Residencies: University of California San Francisco , Department of Pediatrics, San Francisco, CA and University of Colorado, Department of Pediatrics, Denver, CO
  • Fellowships: Metabolism Branch, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD and Expert Consultant, Metabolism Branch, DCT, NIH, Bethesda MD
  • Research: He sponsors the FDA-approved Investigational Drug Applications that support the production of targeted T cells for cancer therapy. He developed and is evaluating the safety and clinical effects of administering targeted T-cells to breast, pancreatic, and colon  cancer.  The studies include the infusions of targeted T cells for the treatment of multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkins’ lymphoma patients are after high dose chemotherapy and a peripheral blood stem cell transplant. He has treated over 60 patients with targeted T cells and more than 15 years of experience with these types of clinical trials. His studies have been supported in part for the National Cancer Institute, Department of Defense, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and the Susan G Komen Foundation.
Voravit Ratanatharathorn, M.D.
  • Professor of Oncology, Wayne State University School of Medicine
  • Co-Director of Karmanos' BMT Program and Director of Cord Stem Cell Bank. 
  • MD : Ramathibodi Hospital School of Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Tahiland
  • Internship: Ramthibodi Hospital School of Medicine
  • Medical Intern: Grace Hospital, Detroit, MI
  • Residency: Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
  • Fellowship: Department of Oncology, Wayne State University, MI
  • Visiting Fellow: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center BMT Unit, Seattle, WA

Joseph Uberti , M.D. Ph.D.

  • Internal Medicine & Medical Oncology
  • Member of Karmanos’ Bone Marrow Transplant multidisciplinary team
  • Residency: Department of Internal Medicine, Wayne State University Affiliated Programs, Detroit, MI
  • Fellowship: Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Wayne State University/Harper-Grace Hospitals, Detroit, MI

Ulka Vaishampayan, M.D.,

  • Hematology & Medical Oncology
  • Chair of Karmanos’ Genitourinary multidisciplinary team
  • Co-Director of the BMT Program at Karmanos 
  • Chief, BMT, Leukemia & Lymphoma
  • Residency: Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
  • Fellowships: Hematology/Oncology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI and Chief Fellow, Hematology/Oncology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
  • Research: Developed, conducted and reported clinical studies in the field of kidney, prostate, and bladder cancers, as well as performed clinical research on radiosensitization strategies with capecitabine and radiation therapy.

Jeffrey Zonder, M.D.  

  • Hematology Oncology & Internal Medicine
  • Member of Karmanos’ Hematology multidisciplinary team
  • Residency: Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency Program, Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester, NY
  • Fellowships: Hematology/Oncology Fellow, Wayne State University, Detroit Medical Center, Detroit, MI and Hematology/Oncology Chief Fellow, Wayne State University, Detroit Medical Center, Detroit, MI

Additional Information

To learn more about the Karmanos Immunotherapy Program including frequently asked questions click here. Contact our Immunotherapy Team at 313-576-8384 or immunotherapyinfo@karmanos.org.

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