Recent CAR-T coverage in mainstream media (in reverse chronological order)…

I haven’t actually read these yet myself, but they are circulating among the social media.  I’m hoping to add some commentary after reading:

Experimental Cancer Treatment That Terminates Rogue Cells Could Arrive in 2017 – Seeker (2016/12/23)

2017 shaping up to be pivotal year for CAR-T and CRISPR therapies | FierceBiotech (2016/12/22)

Opinion: Balancing Risks and Rewards of CAR T-Cell Therapy | The Scientist Magazine® (2016/12/15)–Balancing-Risks-and-Rewards-of-CAR-T-Cell-Therapy/

CAR T-Cell Therapy The Road Ahead (2016/08/11)

I won’t pretend to understand the significance of this, but it is making the social media rounds, and seems to indicate just how competitive this CAR-T field is:

Juno Therapeutics Defeats Kite Pharma’s Challenge to CAR T-Cell Patent – 1stOncology™: Cancer Intelligence Service

A bit old (February 2016), but comprehensive, and it’s written by my CAR-T trial oncologist.  🙂

CD19-targeted CAR T-cell therapeutics for hematologic malignancies: interpreting clinical outcomes to date | Blood Journal


How to Find Clinical Trials for Experimental Cancer Treatments

Some good information for those searching for the right trial for their situation.  This is the latest installment in NY Times’ continuing “Cell Wars” series:

How to Find Clinical Trials for Experimental Cancer Treatments – The New York Times

Link to the “Cell Wars” series itself:

Cell Wars: The Science of Immunotherapy – The New York Times

JCAR017 designated as “Breakthrough Therapy” by FDA

When I was searching for a CAR-T trial in early 2015, I had assumed they were more or less the same, and the important thing was to just get into one, as time was of the essence.  Since I was already a MSK (Memorial Sloan-Kettering) patient, and it was relatively close to home, I just enrolled there.  (We did also visit with Dr. Stephen Schuster at U. Penn, since he had published some very promising early CAR-T results at ASH 2014 with fNHL patients like myself.)

Fast forward to today, and we now see that Juno Therapeutics (pharma of my CAR-T therapy at MSK) has had one trial shut down (JCAR015) due to patient deaths, but has now had another trial (JCAR017) designated as a Breakthrough Therapy by the FDA.  So perhaps the choice of CAR-T trial matters more than I had realized!  Of course, this is all with the benefit of hindsight.  Still, it points up the fact that, while the choice to proceed with a CAR-T therapy itself can be logical and well-considered, a successful outcome can often depend on the serendipitous choice of which CAR-T trial.

— Ben

FDA Grants JCAR017 Breakthrough Designation for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Clinical Trial of T-Cell Therapy for B-cell Lymphomas Aided by FDA and EMA

JCAR017 gets PRIME access, breakthrough designation (login required)


Links for 12/22/2016

Another CAR-T Follicular Lymphoma success story, written by Jamie Remo, who is himself a fNHL survivor:

Despite Setbacks, CAR-T Treatment for Cancer Moves Forward

The newest installment in the excellent NY Times series, “Cell Wars: The Science of Immunotherapy“. This article concerns the ethics of price-setting for these expensive therapies, given the public funding that contributed to their success:

Harnessing the U.S. Taxpayer to Fight Cancer and Make Profits – The New York Times

Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS) remains a significant issue during CAR-T therapy.  I myself spent 5 days in Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s ICU (Intensive Care Unit), 10 days after my CAR-T infusion.  A lot of effort is underway to mitigate this syndrome:

Ruxolitinib may prevent CRS after CAR T-cell therapy (Requires login)

This one is not about CAR-T, but is nonetheless a potential concern for any fNHL patients weighing their “conventional” treatment options. I myself had no issues post-treatment with R-Bendamustine, but I only underwent 4 cycles instead of the usual 6, and did not follow up with Rituxan “maintenance” therapy as mentioned in the article:

Bendamustine Toxicity in FL Raises Eyebrows — and Questions (Requires login)




A couple of informative CAR-T PDF’s…

A good overview, in layman’s terms, of CAR-T:

CAR-T Cell Immunotherapy Fact Sheet

Slightly dated (June 2016) view of the CAR-T landscape. Covers the major players and the many clinical trials currently running:

Shifting CAR-Ts Into a Higher Gear