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Cancer Institute to Launch Region’s First Stem Cell Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program

Hematologist Amir Toor, MD leads the groundbreaking program

Better Medicine stem

For many years, Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute has provided state-of-the-art cancer treatments and research opportunities to individuals within their own communities. While many of the Cancer Institute’s patients are able to receive the most advanced therapies for their diagnosis close to home, people who needed hematopoietic cell transplant or cellular immunotherapy have always needed to travel outside of the Lehigh Valley for these treatments. That changes this year with the development of Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute’s Stem Cell Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program.

“These state-of-the-art treatments are lifesaving for many patients with hematologic malignancies.” - Amir Toor, MD

A wealth of experience

Hematologist Amir Toor, MD, joined Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute in March 2023. He’s started building the program and educating staff members on the intricacies of these specialized treatments.

“It is an honor to bring stem cell transplantation and cellular therapies to adults in the Lehigh Valley and its surrounding communities,” Dr. Toor says. “These state-of-the-art treatments are lifesaving for many patients with hematologic malignancies, but they are also physically and mentally taxing. Being able to receive these therapies close to home is an absolute advantage for these patients.”

Dr. Toor has more than 20 years of experience with autologous and allogeneic transplants. He also has expertise with cellular therapies for hematologic malignancies, specifically chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy. He has published extensively on the immunobiology and application of hematopoietic cell transplantation, with nearly 200 scientific abstracts and peer-reviewed publications over the span of his career. His particular interest is in transplantation for multiple myeloma, lymphoma, myelodysplastic syndrome, acute leukemia and myeloproliferative neoplasms.

“Dr. Toor is a renowned transplanter, and he is dedicated to determining the best treatment option for each individual based on their comorbidities and the genomics of their malignancy,” says hematologist oncologist Suresh Nair, MD, Physician in Chief, Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute. “He is also heavily involved in researching novel cellular therapies that could lead to better outcomes and quality of life for patients in the near future, and his work in this area will be a major asset to our program.”

The Cancer Institute’s membership in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance will also connect the new program to additional stem cell transplant and cellular therapy education and resources.

A phased approach

Dr. Toor and Dr. Nair hope to launch the Stem Cell Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program in fall 2023. Initially, the program will offer consultative services (regarding donor selection, transplant eligibility and post-transplant follow-up) for people with a variety of hematologic malignancies as well as transplant procedures in select individuals. Once the program has received accreditation from the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy, it will expand its services to include transplantation for a wide variety of hematologic malignancies and additional cellular therapies (including CAR T-cell therapy)

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