Lege Artis Medicinae

[Gene modified T cells against cancer]

SZÖŐR Árpád

OCTOBER 20, 2018

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2018;28(10)

[Chimeric antigen receptor modified (CAR) T cells are hailed as a revolutionary breakthrough in the field of oncology. CAR T cells were first applied, with outstanding success, in the treatment of various leukaemias, yielding unprecedented antitumor activity and long periods of disease free survival. Following the success of CAR T cell therapy in leukaemias, solid tumors should now be targeted. These are more complex targets, therefore CAR T cell therapy needs to be further optimized for this purpose. Also, some unfortunate side effects, including the potentially deadly global inflammation called cytokine storm have to be minimized and possibly even eradicated. The next decade will be an exciting time to define whether this therapy which is yet exclusively used for cancer patients is also successful in the treatment of other diseases. In a recent study, T cells reengineered with CAR derived chimeric autoantibody receptors (CAAR) efficiently prevented disease progression in pre-clinical animal models simulating the serious autoimmune disorder, pemphigus vulgaris. Therapy was based on CAAR constructs which have the unique ability to selectively recognize and eliminate the B-cell clones secreting autoantibodies against a self-protein, thus playing a key role in disease pathogenesis and progression. In this review, we would like to give an overview about the history of the CAR T-cell concept, summarize briefly the currently running clinical trials, and discuss the challenges and future prospects of CAR T-cell therapy.]

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