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Andras A. Heczey, MD

The laboratory of Andras Heczey, MD is focused on genetic engineering strategies to redirect the immune system to destroy cancer cells. These strategies include optimizing the design and function of chimeric antigen receptors expressed in lymphocytes to effectively kill tumor cells, survive the immune inhibitory tumor microenvironment and persist in patients long-term to provide immunesurveillance against cancer recurrence.

The laboratory is specifically interested in the immunotherapy of solid tumors using these optimized CAR constructs and has developed state-of-the-art approaches to study the delicate interplay between CAR T cells and tumors cell in patients with microtechniques at the single cell resolution. The lab has specific projects targeting glypican-3-positive solid tumors (including hepatoblastoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, Wilm's tumor and rhabdoid tumors) as well as neuroblastoma.

Clinical trials conducted by the Heczey lab include a Phase 1 study testing GPC3-CAR T cells in children with liver cancer and, in collaboration with Dr. Leonid Metelitsa, a first-in-human Phase 1 study of evaluating GD2-CAR expressing Natural Killer T cells in children with neuroblastoma.