HEM 2018 Volume 1 - Breakthrough CAR T Therapies

Breakthrough CAR T Therapies

Join us for our pre-conference workshop on CAR T for a focused update on this groundbreaking therapeutic area (details on back).

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells have arrived! Last year saw the approval of 2 of these therapies.

CAR T-cell therapies use the body’s own immune system to fight cancer by introducing a viral vector containing CAR to a patient’s isolated T cells. To date, all approved CAR T-cell therapies have focused on targeting CD19.

In August, results from the phase II ELIANA trial led to the approval of tisagenlecleucel for the treatment of pediatric and young adult patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor ALL. In the trial, 68 patients were treated with a single dose of their own modified CAR T cells. After just 3 months of follow-up, 83% of patients (52/63) had achieved complete remission (CR) or CR with an incomplete hematologic recovery.

Tisagenlecleucel was not alone. In October, axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel) was approved for the treatment of patients with certain types of large B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma who have not responded or who have relapsed following 2 prior lines of therapy, based on the findings of the phase I/II ZUMA-1 trial. Presented interim results showed an objective response rate of 82% (92/101) and a CR rate of 54% (55/101).

Although it will be years before we know the true impact of CAR T-cell therapy, this new frontier offers the exciting potential for truly personalized medicine through efficacious treatment options for our patients.

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