New Chief of CHOP’s Cellular Therapy and Transplant Section
Stephan Grupp, MD, PhD
A leading pediatric oncologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Stephan Grupp, MD, PhD, was named Chief of the Section of Cellular Therapy and Transplant in the Hospital’s Division of Oncology. Dr. Grupp, who has researched and led groundbreaking clinical trials of an innovative T-cell therapy for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), assumed this position on June 1, 2017.
“Dr. Grupp was the top candidate for this crucial position and will now expand an already outstanding program that is revolutionizing cell therapy for children with resistant relapsed or refractory ALL and pioneering new strategies for stem cell transplantation,” said Stephen P. Hunger, MD, Chief of Pediatric Oncology and Director of the Center for Childhood Cancer Research at CHOP.
Clinical Training and Research
Dr. Grupp has been an attending physician and oncology researcher at CHOP since 1996, after earning his MD and PhD in Immunology from the University of Cincinnati. He completed his clinical training in pediatrics and pediatric hematology/oncology at Boston Children’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Harvard Medical School, performing postdoctoral research in immunology at Harvard. He joined the University of Pennsylvania medical faculty in 1996 and is now Professor of Pediatrics in Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine.
Dr. Grupp has led a basic science lab studying cell therapy, signal transduction, and novel therapies in ALL and other pediatric cancers. He also developed and led clinical trials that established tandem stem cell transplantation as a standard of care for children with high-risk neuroblastoma. In addition, he helped to develop and lead clinical trials that resulted in U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of a new treatment for veno-occlusive disease, a deadly complication of stem cell transplantation. He also led the pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship training program at CHOP for almost a decade, with eight current CHOP faculty being trained in his lab.
His outstanding contribution to oncology is in the clinical development of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy for relapsed and refractory ALL in children and young adults. Collaborating with the team of Carl June, MD, at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Grupp’s lab did many of the preclinical in vivo studies, then developed the first pediatric trial, and treated the first pediatric patient at CHOP with CAR T-cell therapy in 2012. Furthermore, he and his team pioneered a successful treatment for the complication of T-cell therapy known as cytokine-release syndrome, which can be life-threatening. ■