Transplantation Immunotherapy

Research in the Laboratory of Transplantation Immunotherapy, led by Dr. Richard W. Childs, is focused on finding ways to adapt and enhance immune cells to attack even the most entrenched cancers.

RADM Childs R

Senior Investigator Research Interests

Research Interests

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.

Clinical Trials and Studies

Recruiting
All Ages
All Genders
Accepting Healthy Volunteers
Do you or a child in your family have a cancerous tumor or blood disease? This study will collect blood, urine, or other samples to examine for potential new or improved treatments or prevention methods. Participants in this study must be 2 years or older and either have a cancerous tumor or a cancerous or non-cancerous blood disorder, or be a compatible family member for a stem cell transplant for the patient. This study is located at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Recruiting
All Ages
All Genders
Accepting Healthy Volunteers
Have you received a stem cell transplant? This study aims to monitor the long-term health of patients who have received a donor stem cell transplant from the NIH Clinical Center. To participate in this study, you must be between 10 and 80 years old and had your transplant more than 3 years ago. This study is located in Bethesda, Maryland.
Recruiting
All Ages
All Genders
Not Accepting Healthy Volunteers
Are you considering a blood stem cell transplant? This study is investigating a new method for collecting blood stem cells from donors to see if it reduces transplant complications, such as rejection, in patients who have blood diseases. To participate in this study, you must have a well-matched donor; you and your donor must be between 4 and 80 years old; and you must not be a candidate for immunosuppressive therapy. This study is located in Bethesda, Maryland.
Recruiting
All Ages
All Genders
Not Accepting Healthy Volunteers
Are you scheduled for a stem cell transplant with cord blood? This study will assess the safety and effectiveness of certain cord blood transplants. The study will help researchers learn the best methods for collecting, storing, and using cord blood in transplants. To participate in this study, you must have a disorder that compromises your body’s ability to make blood cells. This study is located in Bethesda, Maryland.
Recruiting
All Ages
All Genders
Not Accepting Healthy Volunteers
Do you or your child have severe aplastic anemia or myelodysplastic syndrome? This study aims to find new ways to make stem cell transplants safer and more effective. Researchers are testing if treating people with severe aplastic anemia with a co-infusion of blood stem cells from a family member and umbilical cord blood stem cells from an unrelated donor is safe and effective. To participate in this study, you must be between 4 and 75 years old. This study is located at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Recruiting
All Ages
All Genders
Not Accepting Healthy Volunteers
Do you have severe aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, or paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria and a relative who is willing to donate blood plasma? This study is exploring whether these conditions can be treated using peripheral blood hematopoietic stem cells, which are easier to collect than bone marrow cells. To participate, you must be between 4 and 55 years old with severe aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndrome or paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria and have a relative who is between 4 and 75 years old who can donate peripheral blood stem cells. This study is located at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Recruiting
Adult, Older Adult
All Genders
Not Accepting Healthy Volunteers
This open label phase II trial is designed to evaluate the efficacy of fostamatinib in the treatment of post-transplant cytopenias as assessed by hematologic improvement in anemia and/or thrombocytopenia following a 12-week treatment course. Patients who respond to the 12-week treatment course on this single arm study are eligible and have the option to enroll on the extended access trial.

Meet the Team

RADM Childs R

Richard Childs, M.D.

Senior Investigator

Rear Admiral (RADM: Upper) Richard Childs, M.D serves as the Clinical Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He completed his internship, residency, and a Chief Residency in internal medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville followed by fellowships at the NIH in Medical Oncology at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Hematology at the NHLBI. He is board certified in medical oncology. He was commissioned in the USPHS Commissioned Corps as a Lieutenant in 1995 when joined the NCI as an Oncology Fellow. Following fellowship training, he was appointed a tenure-track investigator in the Hematology Branch of the NHLBI where he continues to conduct research as a Senior Investigator in bone marrow transplantation and tumor immunotherapy.

As a tenure track and subsequently 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.

Dr. Childs received tenure at the NIH in 2006 and in 2013 was appointed Clinical Director of the NHLBI, As NHLBI’s Clinical Director, he reports directly to the NHLBI Director and oversees the entire clinical research portfolio of the institute’s intramural research divisions in cardiology, pulmonary medicine, hematology, and populations sciences.

Dr. Childs was elected into the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI) in 2009, and is the recipient of the NIH Director’s Scientific Medal Award and the NIH Clinical Center’s Distinguished Clinical Teacher Award. From December 2014 through February 2015, he deployed to Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa as a part of the United States Ebola Crisis Response, where he served as the Chief Medical Officer caring for health care workers infected with Ebola at the Monrovia Medical Unit (MMU). In 2015, he was promoted to Rear Admiral and Assistant US Surgeon General in the U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps of the (Lower 2015; Upper 2020).

Rosa Nadal Rios

Rosa Nadal Rios, MD

Clinician
Stephanie

Stephanie Pierre

Postbaccalaureate Fellow
Ujjawal Savani

Ujjawal Savani

Postbaccalaureate Fellow
Stefan

Stefan Barisic, MD

Postdoctoral Fellow
Joseph

Joseph Clara, MD

Clinical Fellow
Yazan

Yazan Migdady, MD, MSc

Clinical Fellow
Larissa

Larissa Lushniak

Postbaccalaureate Fellow
Mohamed

Mohamed Samour, MD

Clinical Fellow
two members in lab

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