Recently, the IIT Bombay-incubated company Immuno Adoptive Cell Therapy has received Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSO) approval of the first humanized CD19-targeted Chimeric Antigen Receptor T cell (CAR-T cell) Therapy product called NexCAR19 (Actalycabtagene autoleucel) for use in cases of relapsed/refractory B-cell Lymphomas and Leukaemia in India.
GS III: Science and Technology
Dimensions of the Article:
- CAR T-cell Therapy
- What are ‘cell therapies’?
CAR T-cell Therapy
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies use a patient’s own cells that have been modified in a laboratory to attack tumors.
- Blood is drawn from the patient to harvest T-cells.
- The T-cells are modified in the laboratory to express chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) that have an affinity for proteins on the surface of tumor cells.
- The modified cells are infused back into the patient’s bloodstream after being conditioned to multiply more effectively.
- The CAR T-cells bind to the tumor and destroy it, with the patient’s immune system clearing the debris.
- More clinically effective than chemotherapy or immunotherapy as it directly activates the patient’s immune system against cancer.
- More specific than targeted agents as it uses the patient’s own cells.
- Considered as “living drugs”.
Where is it used?
- Currently approved for treating leukaemias and lymphomas
- Used among patients with cancers that have returned after initial treatment or not responded to previous chemotherapy or immunotherapy
- Efficacy varies, with response rate as high as 90% in certain kinds of leukaemias and lymphomas and significantly lower in other types of cancers
- Complex preparation process
- First clinical trial demonstrating effectiveness published almost a decade ago
- Requires technical and human resources to administer, with treatments in the U.S. costing more than a million dollars
- Significance potential side-effects such as cytokine release syndrome and neurological symptoms
What are ‘cell therapies’?
- Cell therapies are a form of cancer treatment that involves using a patient’s own cells.
- One form of cell therapy is CAR T-cell therapy, which modifies T-cells to attack cancer cells and has been approved for certain types of leukemia and lymphoma.
- The treatment is complex and expensive, but has shown high response rates in certain cancers.
- Cell therapies also have potential to help understand the complexities of cancer and offer new treatments, including personalised anti-cancer vaccines and tumour infiltrating lymphocyte therapies.
- Despite the challenges, the field holds promise for developing more sophisticated cancer treatments with fewer side-effects.
-Source: The Hindu