CAR-T, or Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cells, is an innovative treatment that has been getting a lot of attention from cancer researchers, and especially from those seeking an effective treatment for malignant mesothelioma. The protocol takes a patient’s T cells (which are created by their immune system) and engineers them in the laboratory, adding gene for a special receptor that attaches itself to a specific protein on the patient’s cancer cells. These cells are then grown in the laboratory and returned to the patient by infusion, where they attack the cancer cells. A recent meeting of cancer researchers focused on ways to use CAR-T cells to create personalized therapies.
CAR-T already shown to work on blood cancers
The discussion of using CAR-T therapy to design personalized therapies for pleural mesothelioma patients and others suffering from solid tumors took place at a special conference of the American Association for Cancer Research. The group met to flesh out how the advances already made by using CAR-T to treat blood cancers can be applied to the treatment of solid tumors. One of the groups that believes they have a way is a startup company called Pact Pharma, which is working on new strategies in a collaboration with researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
The research that was presented at the San Francisco meeting detailed how the group hopes to identify each individual patient’s specific cancer mutation and then creating a therapy that specifically targets the abnormal proteins that the cancer cell produces. The approach is already being investigated in a phase 1 study.
New approach is built on the patient’s “mutation blueprint”
Referring to the unique differences in the proteins created by mesothelioma and other cancer cells as a “mutation blueprint” for each patient, the scientists have determined that the T-cells that the patient’s immune system is making have already recognized those mutations, and that by harvesting those T-cells and identifying the receptors to go with it, they can then edit genes and attach them to the T cells, which will then attack the cancers once infused back into the body. The strategy has already been successfully tested on two patients diagnosed with melanoma. It is similar to a study that was presented at a March conference in which solid-tumor targeting Car-T cells sought out malignant pleural mesothelioma tumors.
New therapies and protocols represent tremendous sources of hope for patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. For information on other innovations that are being tested, contact the Patients Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.