Dr Robert Weinkove is a Haematologist at Wellington Blood & Cancer Centre, and Clinical Director at the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research (MIMR). After studying medicine at the University of Cambridge and Kings College London, he trained in haematology in London and Germany, and undertook a PhD in immunology at the University of Otago. Rob’s research interests include B-cell malignancies, immunology and supportive care. Rob leads a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell development programme at the Malaghan Institute, and is the Principal Investigator for ‘ENABLE’, New Zealand’s phase I CAR T-cell trial.
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells are an emerging treatment for relapsed and refractory lymphomas, leukaemias and myeloma. As a personalised cell and gene therapy, CAR T-cells present unique logistical challenges, and their safe delivery requires special preparation by hospitals. The ENABLE trial is assessing a new type of CAR T-cell, manufactured locally at the Malaghan Institute. We hope our experience will facilitate the wider use of investigational and commercial CAR T-cell therapies in New Zealand.
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