The FDA has currently approved CAR-T cell therapies that express CARs recognizing CD19. CD19 is expressed on top of the majority of B cells’ surface, allowing for specific B-cell malignancy therapies.
According to the American Cancer Society, there are approximately 5,690 new cases of and 1,580 deaths from acute lymphocytic anemia (ALL), most of which affect children. More than 18,000 people are diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) yearly, with the majority being people over the age of 60. B cells secrete antibodies that are antigen-specific. T cells work differently by directly attacking pathogenic or infected cells, and they also secrete inflammatory cytokines to induce additional immune cell involvement.
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell immunotherapies have been developed to treat B-cell malignancies. CAR-T cells are T cells isolated from a patient and genetically engineered to express a CAR that programs a T cell to target a specific antigen found on a cancer cell surface, but not healthy cells. This is achieved by first isolating lymphocytes from a patient by leukapheresis. The T cells are further isolated, then genetically modified by transducing them with lentivirus carrying the CAR DNA.
Once the CAR-T cells are developed, they are expanded to achieve a therapeutic cell count then infused into the patient. There are FDA-approved single-treatment CAR-T cell therapies for ALL and DLBCL (Kymriah, Novartis and Yescarta, Kite Pharma). However, the approach is associated with a risk of adverse events that must be carefully monitored and promptly addressed, such as cytokine release syndrome and neurological toxicity.
There are clinical trials to develop CAR T–cell therapies for solid cancers, as well as for infectious and autoimmune diseases. Studies to overcome the high risk of AEs are also ongoing, but the benefits of the approved treatments to date are deemed to outweigh the risks. Therefore, there are strategies and unique medical protocols that must be in place prior to the infusion of patients to help detect AEs early for effective treatment. Other studies are aimed at developing allogeneic “off-the-shelf” CAR-T cell therapies to reduce time to treatment and improve cost-effectiveness.
CAR-T cell therapies are beneficial in numerous medical treatments, from cancer therapy, immunotherapy, fungal infections, and many more. If you would like to purchase T cells to perform research for the advancement of medicine, contact HemaCare today! Our top-quality cellular products have helped advance medicine over the last 40 years.
Rebecca Bigler, P. (2021). CAR T-Cell Therapy: Genetically Programming the Immune System to Attack Malignant Cells. Retrieved 5 April 2021, from https://www.pharmacytimes.com/view/car-t-cell-therapy-genetically-programming-the-immune-system-to-attack-malignant-cells