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Dedicated unit for CAR T and other cellular therapy patients opens at Peter Mac

22 November 2023

A new dedicated treatment unit has opened at Peter Mac to care for patients receiving cell-based treatments, including CAR T-cell therapy.

The unit, on Level 1 of Peter Mac’s main facility in Parkville, has been fitted out to handle all aspects involved in the delivery and care of patients receiving these therapies.

Named the Ambulatory Cell Therapies Unit (1E) and part of the Clinical Haematology Department, the new unit opened to patients from Monday, 20 November.

It will initially operate with six treatment chairs along with dedicated clinic facilities - and brings together under Clinical Haematology the Peter Mac’s Apheresis Unit, which remains on L3, and the Cryopreservation Laboratory to form a unified service.

The new unit means patients will visit one specialised area for preparation, to receive their cell-based treatment, outpatient monitoring and care over the first month.

“This is particularly good for people coming in from regional areas – you can get familiar with your surrounds,” said myeloma patient Ian Oberin from Wodonga.

“It’s the ease and convenience of not having to go to a number of locations.”


Ian, who was among the first patients to be cared for in the unit, was supported by his wife Judy as he received chemotherapy preparing him for a stem cell transplant.

Opening the unit represents the final step in delivering three major cellular therapy initiatives at Peter Mac – all made possible by an $80 million investment from the Federal Government plus a further $25 million from Peter Mac and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation.

This co-investment also funded the establishment of a Centre of Excellence in Cellular Immunotherapy laboratory - and funds the ongoing clinical trial development program to advance the science of cell-based treatments.

It also funded the construction of expanded clean-room and other cellular therapy manufacturing facilities - operated by Cell Therapies Pty Ltd - and which opened on Level 9 earlier this year.

With these projects now complete, the Centre of Excellence will continue its work to facilitate a strong research pipeline with a focus on rapid translation of new cellular immunotherapy methods and technologies.

The new 1E unit is open to patients from 8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.