Turning body’s own defenses to fight tumors: Does CAR-T work?

SEM Lymphocyte

There’s new hope that a much-hyped class of immunotherapies could revolutionize cancer treatment…But experts remain cautious about safety and efficacy — and warn that big questions remain.

The therapy, called a CAR-T, is made by extracting a patient’s own immune cells and re-engineering them to target cancerous growths, turning the body’s own defenses on tumors.

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It seems to [work]. But for how long remains an outstanding question. In Kite’s clinical trial, the therapy sent about one-third of patients into complete remission…But those results are based on just three months of measurements from 51 patients. In that time frame, seven patients who initially went into remission suffered relapses.

[T]he oncology division of the Food and Drug Administration has been enthusiastic about granting early approvals to novel treatments that could help particularly desperate patients…But the FDA might balk at signing off on a first-in-class treatment with so little supporting data.

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The CAR-T field is young, but it’s already been through the biotech hype cycle…But it has since become clear that CAR-T is no panacea for cancer.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Separating hope from hype in the latest cancer treatment ‘revolution’

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