Novartis CAR-T cell therapy CTL019 unanimously (10-0) recommended for approval by FDA advisory committee to treat pediatric, young adult B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. CAR-T also shows promise in ALL, CLL, other B-cell malignancies, and other cancers.
In CAR T-cell therapy, a patents immune systems T-cells are collected and reprogrammed in the laboratory to recognize and attack a patient’s cancer cells. Once the T-cells multiply and reach a certain number in the laboratory (usually hundreds of millions to billions), they are re-infused into the patient. These engineered CAR T cells are then grown in the laboratory until they number in the billions. The expanded population of CAR T cells is then infused into the patient. The infused T-cells then circulate throughout the body, attacking the patient’s cancer cells. The key step is to genetically modify a patient’s T-cells to express a CAR that is designed to target an antigen protein expressed on the cell surface. As a result, the reprogrammed T-cells, or CAR T-cells, make protein that find and attach to antigens on cancer cells to help destroy the cancer cells.
The T cells are in essence a “living drug”; they multiply in the patient’s body and, with guidance from their engineered receptor, recognize and kill cancer cells that possess the antigen.
CAR-T Cell Immunotherapy A News Time Line…..
Combatting solid tumors and side effects
For patients with leukemia and lymphoma, the T-cell therapies currently being tested in clinical trials seem to work well even with a relatively small number of cells. For patients with solid tumors such as breast, lung or pancreatic cancer, therapies will likely require multiple doses of potent cells to reach and effectively attack the tumors. The pressing problem for those therapies is how to grow cells to large numbers in the lab. Studies are ongoing in solid tumors.
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