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)
http://www.seeker.com/a-biologic-assassin-car-t-cell-turns-immune-system-against-cancer-2161950283.html

2017 shaping up to be pivotal year for CAR-T and CRISPR therapies | FierceBiotech (2016/12/22)
http://www.fiercebiotech.com/biotech/2017-shaping-up-to-be-pivotal-year-for-car-t-and-crispr-therapies

Opinion: Balancing Risks and Rewards of CAR T-Cell Therapy | The Scientist Magazine® (2016/12/15)
http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/47788/title/Opinion–Balancing-Risks-and-Rewards-of-CAR-T-Cell-Therapy/

CAR T-Cell Therapy The Road Ahead (2016/08/11)
http://www.bioprocessonline.com/doc/car-t-cell-therapy-the-road-ahead-0001


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
http://www.1stoncology.com/blog/juno-therapeutics-defeats-kite-pharma-s-challenge-to-car-t-cell-patent/


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
http://www.bloodjournal.org/content/127/26/3312

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
http://www.onclive.com/web-exclusives/fda-grants-jcar017-breakthrough-designation-for-nonhodgkin-lymphoma


Clinical Trial of T-Cell Therapy for B-cell Lymphomas Aided by FDA and EMA
http://lymphomanewstoday.com/2016/12/22/clinical-tests-of-t-cell-therapy-jcar017-advanced-by-fda-and-ema-for-b-cell-lymphomas


JCAR017 gets PRIME access, breakthrough designation (login required)
http://www.hematologytimes.com/p_article.do?id=6723&section=Lymphomas

 

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
http://www.healthline.com/health-news/car-t-treatment-for-cancer-moves-forward#6


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)
http://www.hematologytimes.com/p_article.do?id=6719


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)
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/873442

 

 

 

A couple of informative CAR-T PDF’s…

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

CAR-T Cell Immunotherapy Fact Sheet http://www.cancersupportcommunity.org/sites/default/files/fields/resource/file/2016-11/car_t_cell_immunotherapy_fact_sheet.pdf


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
http://info.evaluategroup.com/rs/607-YGS-364/images/epv-cart16.pdf