Carvykti® (ciltacabtagene autoleucel, or cilta-cel) is manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a Johnson & Johnson company, and its partner Legend Biotech. It’s the sixth CAR T-cell therapy approved for any type of cancer.
This news means patients with multiple myeloma have another option for cell and gene therapy after traditional therapies have failed. Cilta-cel performed exceptionally in a recent clinical trial: a 74% two-year survival rate plus a 98% overall response rate (meaning the cancer either stopped spreading or regressed because of the treatment).
The qualification for use – at least four unsuccessful lines of standard treatment – is similar to that of the first CAR T-cell therapy, Abecma® (idecabtagene vicleucel).
SAC member tackling analysis of tumor response to virotherapy
Virotherapy, the concept of programming viruses to attack cancer cells and leave healthy cells alone, is a promising therapeutic approach for many types of cancer. This approach is also called oncolytic virus therapy.
Dr. Chiocca is neurosurgeon-in-chief and chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. His clinical research focus is on developing novel cell- and gene-based treatment options for brain cancer, such as viruses that kill brain cancer cells without affecting normal brain tissue.
One of the issues with many novel cell-based therapies is that doctors often must wait weeks before they can detect tumor shrinkage or anti-tumor activity using standard methods. Dr. Chiocca is currently studying a new type of MRI: a magnetic resonance fingerprinting method combined with artificial intelligence to more rapidly determine if the therapy is having an impact.
Dr. Chiocca’s method can speed this process up to just 48 hours after administration of the therapy. This is an incredible achievement and may increase the number of research projects utilizing virus-based treatments for solid tumor cancers and save precious time for patients.
The latest from around the cancer cell and gene therapy research world
The IO360 conference will be held in New York March 16-18. ACGT Scientific Advisor, Christine Brown, PhD (City of Hope), will deliver the Keynote address; ACGT Fellow Joseph Fraietta, PhD (University of Pennsylvania), will also present; and ACGT Chief Program Officer Barbara Lavery will be in attendance.
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