05 December 2018

Scientists from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, USA, presented their latest research on CAR T-cell therapies at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting in San Diego, USA, last weekend.

A team led by Dr Jordan Gauthier have investigated a CAR-T cell combination therapy for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. The researchers gave patients with relapsed, refractory chronic lymphocytic leukaemia the drug ibrutinib before, during and after CAR-T cell therapy.

Ibrutinib is a small-molecule inhibitor of Bruton's tyrosine kinase, which the team explains prevents chronic lymphocytic leukaemia cells from growing. The CAR-T cell therapy used in this trial targeted the CD19 protein on leukaemia cells.

They found that patients given this therapy experience fewer side effects and may be more likely to go into remission than patients who received CAR-T cell therapy alone. However, the team point out that this study is small, with fewer than 20 patients in each group.

These results presented at the ASH Annual Meeting follow on from a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2017, which reported that CD19 CAR-T cell therapy led to durable molecular remissions in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia patients who had failed other treatments.


Other work from Fred Hutch researchers presented at the ASH Annual Meeting on CAR-T cell therapy includes an analysis on the outcomes for patients who experienced a complete remission after receiving the therapy.

Dr Kevin Hay looked at information on around 50 patients and found that disease-free survival rates were affected by certain factors related to the disease, the type of pre-CAR-T conditioning, and whether the patient had haematopoietic cell transplant after CAR-T cell therapy.

Source: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center - Fred Hutch at ASH: Press briefing


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