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.
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)