10 years of experience CAR-T cell therapy

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For around 10 years, leukemia patients have been treated with CAR T-cell therapy as a last resort. Patients are given genetically modified T-cells that specifically recognize and eliminate the diseased cells with their antigen-specific receptors. When the method was introduced, it was hoped that the modified cells would patrol the bloodstream for weeks or even a month as an immune police force.

Today we know from experience with the first patients that the cells are still active 10 years after treatment, which further fuels the discussion about a possible real cure. However, it is clear that so far there is no way of proving whether the cancer has been eradicated for good or whether the CAR-T cells continue to kill all cancer cells shortly after their formation. The end result is identical, no cancer cells are detectable in the blood.

So why aren’t more people being treated with CART T-cell therapy?

However, the results from 10 years of research on the first patients can help to optimize the therapy and better understand the immunological background. The aim for the future is also to extend the application to other solid tumors such as glioblastoma, a particularly aggressive brain tumor, and at the same time increase the safety and effectiveness of the therapy.

Anja Fürbach, Market Intelligence Senior Expert