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


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