Scientists identify possible CAR T-cell target for two common cancers.
A challenge to developing cell and gene therapy for solid tumors is that no two cancers are the same. They have different makeups, including genes and proteins expressed within cells and on cell surfaces.
Since cell and gene therapies like CAR T cells target these unique proteins, many cancers require the making of a specialized therapy.
What if there was a way to create one cell and gene therapy capable of treating two very common cancers?
If this protein can be the target of CAR T cells to treat both cancers, then it would be a major potential breakthrough for the field of cell and gene therapy. The end goal is to develop a CAR T-cell therapy capable of treating both cancers. While this objective requires a lot of work left to be done, identifying this dual-cancer protein target is one of the first steps to developing life-saving treatment for thousands of patients with these deadly diseases.
TCR therapy controls patient’s pancreatic cancer for at least a year
Cell and gene therapy scientists are celebrating an important clinical milestone: A patient diagnosed with a solid tumor cancer benefited from T-cell receptor therapy, according to national media outlets.
Kathy Wilkes, a 71-year-old pancreatic cancer patient living in Florida, endured the gauntlet of surgery, radiation and eight rounds of chemotherapy – with little or no long-term benefit in controlling her disease.
So, she turned to cell and gene therapy – specifically, T-cell receptor therapy or TCR. This type of cell and gene therapy adds an engineered protein receptor to T cells to help them find evidence of cancerous proteins.
The results were remarkable, with the therapy controlling the disease for one whole year.
“I think cancer research is going to build on this,” Carl June, MD, a member of ACGT’s Scientific Advisory Council, said to NBC News. “The real question is not if, but when, this kind of therapy becomes a reality of curing patients with now-lethal cancers.”
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The latest from around the cancer cell and gene therapy research world.
Listen to ACGT Scientific Advisory Council member, Research Fellow and CAR T-cell therapy pioneer Carl June, MD, in a recent podcast discussing cell and gene therapy for solid tumors provided by Cell & Gene: The Podcast.
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