Manish Patel

U of M opens new first-in-human clinical trial for the treatment of advanced solid tumors

The University of Minnesota has become the third location in the United States to open a promising cell-based cancer immunotherapy clinical trial for the treatment of advanced solid tumors. The multicentered trial is investigating the safety and activity of a universal, off-the-shelf natural killer (NK) cell product, building off of the groundbreaking NK research done by Jeffrey Miller, MD, Deputy Director of the Masonic Cancer Center and Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

The clinical trial, sponsored by Fate Therapeutics, uses human-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) as a renewable cell source for manufacturing the off-the-shelf cell therapy called FT500. The study is being run locally by Manish Patel, DO, Associate Professor of Medicine at the Medical School.

“We are excited to begin enrolling on this novel trial using NK cells. Cellular therapy has been traditionally very difficult to administer and expensive,” said Patel. “If this trial is successful, it will provide a novel form of therapy that we will be able to pull off the shelf for patients with cancer and will serve as a useful platform for making more effective treatments in the future.”

The clinical trial is borne out of a multi-year partnership between the University of Minnesota and Fate Therapeutics. The FT500 Phase 1 trial is the fourth clinical trial to emerge from the collaboration between UMN and Fate. FT500 is the first iPSC-derived, off-the-shelf NK product to enter clinical studies and is made available to patients through the clinical trial at U of M and other clinical sites.

FT500 was produced and manufactured at the University of Minnesota’s Molecular and Cellular Therapeutics (MCT) center, which offers full-service development and manufacturing of cell- and tissue-based products, monoclonal antibodies and other therapeutic proteins, as well as active pharmaceutical ingredients for use in Phase I, II or III clinical trials. M Health Fairview, the clinical partner of the Masonic Cancer Center, supports the MCT in the production of these molecules.

About the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota

The Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, is the Twin Cities’ only Comprehensive Cancer Center, designated ‘Outstanding’ by the National Cancer Institute. As Minnesota’s Cancer Center, we have served the entire state for more than 25 years. Our researchers, educators, and care providers have worked to discover the causes, prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer and cancer-related diseases. Learn more at

About the University of Minnesota Medical School

The University of Minnesota Medical School is at the forefront of learning and discovery, transforming medical care and educating the next generation of physicians. Our graduates and faculty produce high-impact biomedical research and advance the practice of medicine. Learn how the University of Minnesota is innovating all aspects of medicine by visiting

Masonic Cancer Center U of M