Side effects of CAR T-cell therapy
Author: Rebecca J
Category: Medical science
A new immunotherapy for lymphoma has been found to cause lower levels of neurologic toxicity than other T-cell therapies for lymphoma. The findings, reported January 20, 2020, in Nature Medicine, come from the first clinical test of a CAR T-cell therapy using a new anti-cancer T-cell receptor developed in CCR. The receptor targets the CD19 marker on the surface of cancerous B cells. More than half of the patients in this phase I trial experienced complete remissions after receiving the treatment.
CAR T-cell therapies are cancer treatments in which T cells from a patient’s blood are genetically manipulated so that they produce a synthetic receptor that improves their ability to recognize and destroy cancer cells. That receptor is known as a chimeric antigen receptor, or CAR.
Both FDA-approved CAR T-cell therapies for B-cell lymphoma use CARs that target CD19, a surface protein that cancerous B cells often express. Some patients experience complete remission of their cancer following this treatment. However, the treatment’s side effects can be severe. Many of the most significant problems are neurological, including speech problems, memory loss, tremors and seizures. Cytokine release syndrome (CRS), a potentially life-threatening inflammatory response, is less common but also a concern. These effects are thought to be triggered by CAR T cells’ release of substances called cytokines.
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