Landmark CAR-T Cancer Study Published


Source: Loyola University Health System

Summary: The CAR-T cell cancer treatment harnesses a patient’s T-cells which are part of the immune system, to fight cancer.


CAR-T therapy (Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-Cell therapy) is a cell therapy cancer treatment in which the T-cells are collected from a patient and genetically engineered in the lab to produce Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CARs – proteins that help the T cells to recognize antigens of targeted tumor cells). The re-engineered T cells are called as CAR – T cells that are then infused back into the patient for treatment. These attacker CAR-T cells recognize and kill the cancerous cells. Loyola University Medical Center participated in the pivotal clinical trial of a groundbreaking cancer treatment The treatment used in the study is CAR-T, is offered by Kite Pharma. Novartis and Juno Therapeutics, also are developing CAR-T cancer treatments. The study findings were published in the journal New England Journal of Medicine.

CAR-T cell therapy is used in cancer treatment

How CAR-T cell therapy harnesses a patient’s immune system to fight cancer. Credit: Loyola Medicine

The study included 111 patients from 22 various centers, including Loyola. The patients were suffering from different types of B-cell Lymphoma who had not responded to other treatments such as chemotherapy and stem cell transplants. A good 42% of patients who underwent the CAR-T treatment were in complete remission after a median follow-up of 15.4 months. The CAR-T cancer treatment harnesses a patient’s T-cells to fight cancer. Based on results of the study, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved a CAR-T treatment called Axicabtagene Ciloleucel marketed as Yescarta. Some of the side-effects were observed such as cytokine release syndrome, encephalopathy, confused state, aphasia and somnolence, but their incidence decreased over the course of the study.

Co-author of the study of the study, Patrick J. Stiff said, “We are developing a system to treat carefully selected patients who might benefit from the therapy with a maximum of benefits and a minimum of toxicities”, and further added, Loyola’s participation in the clinical trial, along with its extensive experience in treating patients with lymphoma and other blood cancers, will help in providing the safest possible CAR-T treatments.


More Information: Sattva S. Neelapu et al, “Axicabtagene Ciloleucel CAR T-Cell Therapy in Refractory Large B-Cell Lymphoma”, NEJM (2017). DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1707447


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