A USC study shows an improved version of CAR T-cell therapy seems to eliminate its serious side effects, which will make the treatment safer and potentially available in outpatient settings.
Si – Yi Chen of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, professor in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, and senior author of the study said, “This is a major improvement”. He further added “We’ve made a new CAR molecule that’s just as efficient at killing cancer cells, but it works more slowly and with less toxicity.”
No serious side effects were produced in 25 patients who had lymphoma that recurred after previous treatments with the advanced version of CAR T therapy. Even though the study was designed to look at safety and not effectiveness, out of eleven 6 participants went into total cure receiving a commonly used dose.
CAR T-cell therapies were approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2017 for the treatment of advanced lymphomas and leukemia. Mr. Chen said, “The improved CAR T cells proliferated and differentiated into memory cells in the patients, thus producing a potent and long-lasting anti-tumour effect without causing toxicities.” He further added “Toxicities are currently the biggest barrier to the use of CAR T-cell therapy. My hope is that this safer version of CAR T cell therapy could someday be administered to patients in outpatient settings.”