FDA-Approved Cellular Therapy for Metastatic Melanoma Now Available at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas

One of the nation’s first authorized treatment centers to offer breakthrough therapy designed to better empower the immune system to fight cancer

BSW Charles A Sammons Dallas Facility Photo

DALLAS, Texas – After more than 18 months of working to meet the criteria to become an authorized treatment center, Baylor University Medical Center is poised to be one of the first in the nation to offer a newly FDA-approved tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) cellular therapy treatment for patients with metastatic melanoma.

This novel therapy is now available to eligible patients. It is the first and only FDA-approved cellular treatment for a solid tumor—specifically metastatic melanoma—and offers hope for the thousands of patients with advanced melanoma that has not responded to first- or second-line therapy.

"We've been able to offer immunotherapy for hematological malignancies since 2018, but this will be the first time this treatment option is approved for a solid tumor. That's especially exciting considering that the vast majority of cancers are solid tumors," said Lance Cowey, MD, medical director of the Skin Cancer Screening, Research & Treatment Center, Baylor University Medical Center. "We are very excited about the hope this will bring to those with metastatic melanoma. Through continued research, this could be the first approval of many more in the future to use this novel therapy to treat a wide range of solid tumors that haven't responded to traditional treatments like surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy."

TIL cells are naturally occurring immune cells that are on constant surveillance to recognize, attack and kill cancer cells. This new therapy is intended to reinvigorate a patient's TIL cells so they can be deployed to fight cancer.

The treatment process involves collecting a patient's naturally occurring TIL cells from a portion of their own tumor and then growing them outside the body using a proprietary 22-day manufacturing process developed by Iovance Biotherapeutics to produce this specialized therapy. These cells will then be delivered back to the patient through a one-time inpatient treatment.

A History of Cancer Breakthroughs

Clinicians and researchers at Baylor Scott & White Health and Texas Oncology have long been leaders in pioneering immunotherapies for cancer treatment. Both organizations have a history of combining their expertise and being the first in North Texas to offer novel therapies for hard-to-treat cancers, including the breakthrough CAR-T therapy for patients with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 2018. This commitment continues in offering the latest available options for cellular therapy to cancer patients in North Texas.

"When it comes to immunotherapy for cancer, few hospitals offer what we do—all in one convenient location," said Ronan Kelly, MD, director of oncology, Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas and chief of oncology, North Texas Division, Baylor Scott & White Health. "We are committed to staying on the forefront as new therapies become commercially available so we can offer our patients with cancer the latest advancements and treatment options as well as access to innovative clinical trials."

Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas is a destination center for immunotherapy. The campus includes Baylor Scott & White T. Boone Pickens Cancer Hospital, which is the only dedicated cancer hospital in North Texas, and Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center, one of the largest cancer treatment centers in Texas. It is the only medical center in North Texas that can both manufacture novel immunotherapy cancer treatments and deliver them to patients on the same campus.

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About Baylor Scott & White Health
As the largest not-for-profit health system in the state of Texas, Baylor Scott & White promotes the health and well-being of every individual, family and community it serves. It is committed to making quality care more accessible, convenient and affordable through its integrated delivery network, which includes the Baylor Scott & White Health Plan, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, the Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance and its leading digital health platform – MyBSWHealth. Through 51 hospitals and more than 1,200 access points, including flagship academic medical centers in Dallas, Fort Worth and Temple, the system offers the full continuum of care, from primary to award-winning specialty care. Founded as a Christian ministry of healing more than a century ago, Baylor Scott & White today serves more than three million Texans. For more information, visit: BSWHealth.com