Why Is CAR T-Cell Therapy ‘One of Most Phenomenal Advances in Science’?

Podcast focuses on recent successful study comparing breakthrough therapy to standard treatment

This episode of CU Anschutz 360 focuses on a promising breakthrough therapy for patients with large B-cell lymphoma, an aggressive subtype of the disease. The clinical trial was led by Manali Kamdar, MD, clinical director of the lymphoma program in the Division of Hematology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

In the trial for relapsed patients or patients who didn’t respond to treatment initially, CAR T-cell therapy with lisocabtagene maraleucel showed significant improvement in keeping patients in remission when compared to the standard-of-care, which consisted of chemotherapy followed by stem-cell transplantation.

Thomas Flaig, MD, vice chancellor for research, co-hosts the discussion about the TRANSFORM clinical trial.

Here is an excerpt from the conversation:

“CAR T-cell therapy is resource intensive, and that’s why most of the time this therapy gets offered at an academic medical site like ours, which is experienced and has dealt with many trials like this in the past,” Kamdar said. “To piggyback on what resources here are currently available, I will say that within this world of CAR T everything is looking great, but we are still not at 100 percent cure, and that’s what we aim for.

“As a result, with that single-minded focus, the University of Colorado and the Gates Biomanufacturing Facility here, have championed the idea of making CARs that are even more efficacious, and this is just the beginning,” Kamdar added. “I think the idea of cell therapy continues to evolve, and at this point we have some excellent scientists, clinicians on campus, not to mention Dr. Terry Fry. Under his leadership, the idea is to really continue to develop more novel products.

“There are just simply three goals here: a cure, make sure that the novel therapies are durable, and make sure that it’s not toxic to our patients,” she said. “I think our patients have had chemotherapy far too long, and it’s time to move on beyond chemo.”

Read a story about a patient in the TRANSFORM clinical trial that is currently in remission and enjoying life in her new home in Topeka, Kan.

Click below to listen to the full podcast:

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