Frontiers in Medicine: A Look at CAR T-Cell Therapy

Chimeric antigen receptor therapy or CAR T-cell therapy is an emerging immunotherapy designed specifically to
target a patient’s cancer cells. To date, the most successful of these therapies
CD19 CAR therapy targets B cells in Leukemia and Lymphoma. A patient begins
treatment by undergoing apheresis to extract normal T-cells. In the laboratory,
a modified virus either a lentivirus or retrovirus transfers targeted genetic
information into the T-cells where it is incorporated into the genome. Newly
synthesized CD19 CAR proteins are then expressed on the T-cells surface. The
altered T-cells are expanded in vitro and delivered to the patient by infusion. In the body, the engineered receptors bind to specific antigens expressed by
the target cancer cells, killing them. With hundreds of trials currently being
conducted worldwide, engineered cell therapies like CAR T-cell therapy have
the potential to transform treatment for cancer and other diseases.

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