Group shot in the hospital of members of the team involved. They include men and woman of different ages. Many are wearing clinical uniforms such as blue scrubs.
Some members of the team, including Dr
Muhammad Saif (middle row, third from left)

We are delighted to announce that The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – in partnership with Liverpool Clinical Laboratories – has received JACIE accreditation to provide stem cell transplantation and cellular therapies.

We are one of just a few UK hospitals with this accreditation and it paves the way us to submit a bid to the NHS to bring CAR-T therapy to Cheshire and Merseyside for the first time. 

The process of gaining JACIE accreditation is extremely rigorous and involved many months of hard work and a joint assessment of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre’s facilities and the stem cell laboratory at Liverpool Clinical Laboratories (LCL) which is run by Liverpool University Hospitals.  

Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy – or CAR-T therapy for short – is a highly innovative form of immunotherapy. It involves removing T immune cells from a patient’s blood and modifying them to become CAR-T cells that can recognise and attack cancer. The CAR-T cells are then transplanted into the patient to help treat their cancer. 

The treatment is very specialist and is only available in a few centres nationally for patients with specific cancers that have not responded to other treatments or have returned after them. 

Currently patients from Cheshire and Merseyside have to travel outside the region to receive it.  

Dr Muhammad Saif, Director of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapies at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, who led the JACIE application, said:

This is a great moment for The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre which is now one of the few UK centres with this accreditation. 

CAR-T therapy is a highly-specialist novel treatment that is showing remarkable results for many patients whose cancer has not responded to other drugs. It is very exciting that we are now in a position to submit a bid to the NHS to provide this innovative treatment to people in our region.

Joan Spencer, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, said:

Dr Muhammad Saif and the team deserve enormous credit and thanks for this fantastic achievement. They have been working tirelessly to help us become a CAR-T provider. JACIE accreditation is a big step in that journey and we are now in a position to submit a bid to the NHS to provide CAR-T in Cheshire and Merseyside. 

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre’s Haemato-Oncology team provide Cheshire and Merseyside’s most specialist blood cancer and stem cell transplantation service, as well as blood cancer care for the people of Liverpool.

* The Joint Accreditation Committee ISCT-Europe and EBMT (JACIE) is the only official accreditation body for stem cell transplantation and cellular therapies in Europe and the UK.