- Richard W. Childs, M.D. Research
As tenured investigator in the NHLBI, Dr. Childs has focused his research on allogeneic stem cell transplantation and tumor immunology to treat aplastic anemia, hematological malignancies, and solid tumors. Dr. Childs and his research team were the first to establish the existence of a graft-vs-solid tumor effect mediated by transplanted donor T-cells that could cure patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Subsequently, his laboratory discovered a novel human endogenous retrovirus (HERV-E) to be the target for allogeneic graft-vs-tumor effects inducing tumor regression. Translational research being conducted in his lab is focused on developing novel T-cell based approaches to target HERV-E derived kidney cancer antigens in clear cell renal cell carcinoma. In this regard, his group has cloned T-cell receptors recognizing HERV-E antigens and in a first in human clinical trial being conducted at the NIH Clinical Center, is investigating the anti-tumor potential of adoptively transferring autologous T-cells genetically modified to express HERV-E T-cell receptors. Dr. Childs’ lab also has a major focus on NK Cell immunotherapy, conducting lab based and clinical research aimed at exploring a variety of different strategies to optimize adoptive NK cell therapy for cancer. Dr. Childs also serves as the principal investigator on several investigator-initiated clinical research protocols conducted at the NIH Clinical Center exploring novel hematopoietic stem cell transplant regimens aimed at improving transplant-outcomes for patients with treatment refractory severe aplastic anemia, and has performed over 400 hundred experimental stem cell transplants at the NHLBI.