“A NEW AND UNIQUE WAY TO TREAT CANCER, CAR-T THERAPY IS POISED TO TRANSFORM THE OUTLOOK FOR CHILDREN AND ADULTS WITH CERTAIN OTHERWISE INCURABLE CANCERS.”
Chimeric Antigen Receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy was named by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) as its Advance of the Year for 2018.
CAR-T cell technology is an immunotherapy that harnesses potentially the most powerful weapon there is against cancer – the human immune system. CAR-T cells are made from a patient’s own T cells, and so are often referred to as a ‘personalised’ cancer treatment.
Named for the chimera, a fire-breathing monster in Greek mythology comprising the body parts of different animals, CAR-Ts have extra parts – genetically engineered receptors designed to recognise and bind to receptors on cancer cells.
So far CAR-T therapy has shown impressive and, in some cases, stunning success against blood cancers.
However, solid tumours make up the majority of cancers diagnosed and, so far, clinical trials of CAR-T therapies targeted against solid cancers have not yielded the same results. Solid tumours present a set of new difficulties in designing effective CAR-T cells.