CAR T-Cell Therapy

What is CAR T-Cell Therapy?   Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is a type of T-cell transfer immunotherapy similar to TIL therapy. The patient’s T-lymphocytes are extracted and genetically modified in the lab to express chimeric antigen receptors. These receptors allow the T-lymphocytes to bind to antigens on target cells in an MHC-independent manner. The modified CAR T-cells are then re-introduced into the patient’s body.

What Cancers are Treated with CAR T-Cell Therapy?

CAR T-cell therapy has been FDA approved to treat hematologic cancers such as:

  • B-Cell non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Mantle cell lymphoma
  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Multiple myeloma

CAR T-cell therapy is also currently being studied for its application in the treatment of solid tumors.

Adverse Effects in CAR T-Cell Therapy

CAR T-cell therapy requires in-patient treatment because of its association with cytokine release syndrome (CRS), a serious side effect that results from a rapid increase in the levels of circulating cytokines in response to the activation of the CAR-T cells. CRS may cause:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Rashes
  • Diarrhea
  • Hypotension
  • Multiorgan failure
  • Death

Source: Sterner, R. C., & Sterner, R. M. (2021, April). CAR-T cell therapy: current limitations and potential strategies. Blood Cancer Journal, 11(4).