The idea is tantalizing: Reengineer a patient’s own immune cells to attack the cancer that’s killing her. Scientists have proven it can be done, curing patients of…blood cancers.
But faith in this approach, dubbed CAR-T immunotherapy, has been [recently] shaken….
To be sure, there’s still excitement in the field.
“I think the story line today is, CAR-T is really walking a fine line,” said Brad Loncar…“A year ago, there was definitely exuberance. But now, we’re on the precipice of people pulling back.”
Scaling up is a tricky prospect for CAR-T therapy. Increasing the capacity to manufacture a standard biologic drug might involve bumping up the size of a bioreactor so it can pump out…5,000 liters…But CAR-T therapy is so highly personalized that manufacturers have to effectively build 5,000 one-liter bioreactors….
“I think it’ll take us years, though certainly not decades, to get to the point where we have near-complete automation,” [Bruce] Levine said.
…[C]ell therapies will need both clinical success and commercialization to keep up the momentum, Loncar said.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Hurdles abound in race to bring customized cancer treatments to masses