The Department of Cell Therapy and Applied Genomics (CTAG) seeks to establish preeminent highly skilled, cellular therapeutics and genomics assays and services that engender national and international recognition for their creativity, productivity, and overall excellence. The central tenets of this mission are mutual respect, and the idea that excellence denotes exemplary achievements and continuous improvement of quality.
Deliver and enable personalized medicine through cellular therapeutic and genomics-based technologies to Jordan and its neighbors.
Goals of the department
- Establish the first public hybrid cord blood bank in Jordan
- Establish a national registry of stem cell donors
- Introduce Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) for cancer mutation analysis
- Perform HLA typing
- Present the complete exome and genome sequences
- Have a GMP approved lab and initiate CAR T cell technology
- Introduce gene editing techniques to treat potential genes
- Improve the critical informatics infrastructure
- Prepare for ASHI, FACT and JACIE accreditations
- Continue holding CAP and JCI accreditations
Department Scope of Services
All CTAG laboratories/sections are College of American Pathologists (CAP)-certified clinical diagnostic facilities.
- Cellular therapy and blood and bone marrow transplantation (BMT)
- Stem cell processing
- Cryobiology and cryopreservation
- Cord blood banking
- Genomics (Molecular genetic pathology)
- Molecular Oncology
- NGS and Sanger Sequencing
- Molecular Infectious disease
- Transplant Immunology and Histocompatibility
- Genetic Counselling.
- Molecular Cytogenetics and Fluorescence in Situ Hybridization (FISH)
- Flow cytometry.
- Immune profiling of hematological malignancies
- Stem cell enumeration (CD34 +)
- Immune monitoring post stem cell transplantation
- Other cell flow assays
- Cancer Care Informatics Program
Cellular therapy and blood and bone marrow transplantation (BMT)
- CTAG receives both pediatric and adult patients, and includes a comprehensive blood and bone marrow transplant (BMT) laboratory that is capable of supporting a comprehensive, integrated growth program for blood and bone marrow transplantation.
- Blood and bone marrow transplant patients can complete the procedures related to the blood and bone marrow transplant process starting with cell collection, processing, cryopreservation, storage, thawing frozen cells and donating cells to the patient from the same site.
- The BMT lab offers automatic and genetic donor protocols (from related or unrelated donors), through a range of procedures ranging from cell wash, plasma and / or red cell depletion, CD34 + cell selection and T-cell depletion in various ways.
- The BMT lab specializes in cell collection from pediatric patients of very low weight (9 kg or more). It is the only laboratory in Jordan that performs this procedure.
- The lab treats stem cells derived from blood, bone marrow or the umbilical cord. This enables physicians to assess the patient's needs and determine the best source of stem cells. It increases the eligibility of patients who do not have organ transplant donors.
- The number of blood and bone marrow transplants performed at KHCC is the highest in Jordan with approximately 250 transplants annually and a vision to exceed 300 transplants annually.
- The BMT lab provides Therapeutic Leukapheresis and Granulocyte collection. Very few hospitals offer this critical care service.
- The lab detects early onset of CMV through CMV antigenemia. Around 400 of these procedures are performed every month.
Molecular Genetics and Immunogenetics (MDI)
- The Molecular Diagnostics and Immunogenetics (MDI) Laboratory at KHCC is a College of American Pathologists (CAP)-certified clinical diagnostic facility specializing in oncologic and infectious molecular testing
- The MDI lab provides a roster of testing for hematological and malignancies and solid tumors.
- The laboratory is dedicated to providing patients and physicians with comprehensive and accurate molecular testing. It utilizes the strength of molecular techniques such as PCR, qPCR, Genetic Sequencing and Gene Mapping for diagnostic and research purposes when needed. It also provides a wide range of DNA and RNA based tests for inherited genetic diseases, hematologic malignancies, solid tumors and infectious diseases all of which are performed at KHCC.
- One of our primary strengths is molecular testing of leukemia. In this regard, we work closely with other KHCC laboratories including the Clinical Cytogenetic, Flow Cytometry, and Immunohistochemistry laboratories to provide an integrated approach to detecting disease-specific diagnostic and prognostic molecular markers. Our laboratory also performs DNA-based human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing and chimerism analysis services for the Stem Cell Transplant Program at the KHCC.
- The Cytogenetics Laboratory at KHCC is a regional pioneer in the field of cytogenetics.
- Molecular pathologists and cytogenetics specialists work closely with laboratory personnel to ensure the delivery of accurate, reliable, and timely results.
- The laboratory offers testing integrated services and provides both routine cytogenetics (karyotyping) and advanced molecular cytogenetics / Fluorescence in Situ Hybridization (FISH).
- For patients with hematological or solid tumors, cytogenetic testing plays a major role in diagnosing and predicting the future of the condition, in addition to selecting and monitoring treatment.
- When identifying tumor markers and developing targeted therapies, results of tests performed in the Cytogenetics Laboratory are a valuable addition to clinical and pathological information.
- Current cytogenetics laboratory innovations include the introduction of Metasystems, a modern dynamic imaging platform that reliably manages cases, images and results from a single workstation to multi-user workstations, with the ability to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms into the laboratory's workflow. This resulted in increased efficiency in sample processing and reporting of results.
- The Flow Cytometry lab contributes an important part to clinical diagnosis of hematological malignancies (lymphoma, leukemia and myeloma), blood and bone marrow transplant (BMT), minimal residual disease (MRD) detection, Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria and immunodeficiency diseases.
- It is the only Flow Cytometry lab accredited by CAP in Jordan.
- Protocols and QC are followed daily to monitor the performance of the analytical system and ensure the reliability of the process or measurement performed on a patient sample. The QC program identifies areas for process improvement and ensures reliable results for both short-term and long-term medical decisions.
CTAG Alphabetical Tests List and Collection Requirements (Link)
Cancer Care Informatics
- The MSc program in Cancer Care Informatics is the first International MSc program, comprised of both teaching and research that holistically empowers the process of cancer care through informatics.
- This is a joint program between King Hussein Cancer Center and The University of Jordan.
- This program targets the key stakeholders involved in the process of cancer care to empower their role and duties using an informatics-centric approach, where (i) information strategy and governance, (ii) process architectures, (iii) requirements engineering, (iv) life-long learning, (v) legal, social, ethical and social informatics implications, (vi) cancer care data analytics, (vii) precision medicine, and (viii) cancer bioinformatics are among the key building blocks of the program.
- To develop qualified graduates who can employ informatics to holistically empower the process of cancer care though a multidisciplinary cancer care team in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of cancer care processes, the quality of patients’ experience, and overall outcomes.
Program learning outcomes
- Critically understand the problems and constraints that may confront cancer care professionals, and develop the necessary underlying informatics knowledge and cognitive skills to resolve them;
- Develop critical understanding of the role of information strategy, process architecture, usability and quality governance, and requirements engineering in the holistic empowerment of the process of cancer care for both the patient and the cancer care organization;
- Apply cancer care principles and processes with efficacy and efficiency empowered by informatics in legal, social, ethical, and professional contexts nationally and internationally;
- Demonstrate critical understanding of the role of cancer care decision making processes and their dependence on timely, reliable, complete, consistent, and correct information considering cancer care governance, the variability of treatment options, associated costs and the required patient support services such as palliative care, nutrition, counselling support and rehabilitation; and
- Conduct and appraise advanced research in particular areas of cancer care using research methods, frameworks, and tooling for cancer care informatics
Dr. Abdelghani Tbakhi, Chairman, Department of Cell Therapy and Applied Genomics, Program Co-Director, Cancer Care Informatics
Dr. Yazan Ahmad, Pathologist, Department of Cell Therapy and Applied Genomics
Dr. Osama Smadi, Senior Clinical Scientist and Section Head, Molecular Diagnostics and Immunogenetics (MDI)
Dr. Walid Nasser, Clinical Scientist, Molecular Diagnostics and Immunogenetics (MDI)
Dr. Farah Aloul, Clinical Scientist, Molecular Diagnostics and Immunogenetics (MDI)
Dr. Anas Al Okaily, Clinical Bioinformatics Scientist
Dr. Saleh Khudirat, Laboratory Manager
Dr. Mohammed Odeh, Professor and Program Co-Director, Cancer Care Informatics
Dr. Faten Kharbat, Visiting Associate Professor, Cancer Care Informatics