Closing the gap on accessible, inhibition-resistant CAR-T cell therapy
While chimeric antigen receptor-T cell therapy (CAR-T cell therapy) has revolutionized the treatment of blood cancers, challenges remain to bring the therapy to its full potential. CAR-T cell therapy — an immunotherapy that reprograms a patient’s T cells to recognize and destroy cancer cells — can be toxic, expensive, difficult to access, and have short-lived success, as many patients relapse within two years.
Mayo Clinic researchers are actively working on solutions to address these challenges and strengthen the therapy. For example, researchers discovered that specific cells in the tumor’s microenvironment, known as cancer-associated fibroblasts, exuded chemicals that kept the CAR-T cells from working properly.
Mayo researchers have designed a CAR-T cell therapy that attacks these cancer-associated fibroblasts while also attacking the multiple myeloma cells. This dual-targeting process made the CAR-T cells more potent and less resistant. Researchers hope to begin clinical trials using this dual-targeting therapy within the next few years.