Cell and gene therapy research expertise

Researchers at SCGT have the most clinical and research experience in cell and gene-based therapeutics in Australia, with a large capacity to support third party investigators. SCGT provides access to internationally recognised experts at scientific and clinical levels in the following major areas of cell and gene therapy research.

Blood and marrow stem cell transplantation

SCGT contains the largest blood and marrow stem cell transplantation laboratory in NSW and one of the largest in Australia.

The laboratory supports a wide variety of complex stem cell procedures including CD34+ stem cell selection, cord blood and haploidentical transplantation in addition to standard autologous and allogeneic stem cell processing. The laboratory is NATA accredited to AS ISO 15189.

The Children’s Hospital at Westmead Blood and Marrow Transplant Service which incorporates the Westmead BMT Service processing laboratory also recently earned FACT Accreditation for paediatric autologous and allogeneic hematopoietic progenitor cell transplantation, bone marrow and peripheral blood cellular therapy product collection, and cellular therapy product processing.

Adoptive immunotherapy of T cells

SCGT is undertaking clinical trials involving adoptive immunotherapy and vaccination to prevent opportunistic infections in blood or marrow transplant recipients. Trials have been recruiting for over five years and represent the only clinical trials of their type in Australasia. At present, the trials focus on treatment and prevention of life threatening CMV disease, Epstein-Barr virus associated post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD) and disseminated adenovirus infections.

Clinical Islet Transplant Unit

The Clinical Islet Transplant Unit at Westmead was the first established in Australia. Established in 1997 it is one of only 22 institutions world-wide to have performed more than twenty islet transplants for Type 1 diabetes. The unit has also performed Australia’s first Islet after kidney transplant and first Islet autograft for a patient with chronic pancreatitis.

Xenotransplantation

This group is part of the largest and most productive NHMRC funded Program Grant in xenotransplantation (the transplantation of pig organs into humans) in Australia.

Gene therapy

The Gene Therapy Research Unit at Westmead was the first group in Australia to treat a genetic disease (SCID-X1) by gene therapy and are recognised leaders in the establishment of this field in Australia. They are the largest and most productive gene therapy research program in Australia.