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Trial finds new CAR T-cell therapy is effective at killing cancer cells

Trial finds new CAR T-cell therapy is effective at killing cancer cells

A Phase I clinical trial funded by the NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) programme, and supported by the NIHR UCLH Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), has tested a new CAR T-cell therapy in patients for the treatment of adults with relapsed B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (B-ALL). This group has previously had few treatment options available.

There is currently no approved ‘curative’ treatment available for adult patients with relapsed B-ALL. Current treatment is with chemotherapy and the prognosis for these patients is poor.

In the trial, 20 adult patients with relapsed B-ALL had their T-cells genetically modified to target their cancer cells. Early stage research suggests a new version of an immunotherapy called CAR T-cell therapy has fewer toxic side effects and is effective for longer. CAR T-cell therapy works through programming immune T-cells specifically, to target cancer cells. 

To overcome the limitations of current CAR T-cell therapies, the new therapy was designed to bind leukemic cells less tightly and for shorter periods of time than other T-cell therapies.

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