New CAR-T lymphoma immunotherapy drug success

New CAR-T lymphoma immunotherapy drug success

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma immunotherapy

Kite Pharma, a new US stock market company, has developed a drug which uses gene therapy CAR-T for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In a clinical trial 82 per cent of patients saw tumour reduction.

The drug, KTE-C19 is used after all other treatments have failed, where normally the average life expectancy is about 6 months. With the Kite Pharma drug, in a trial involving 101 patients overall, approximately one third showed no signs of disease 9 months later and more than half were still alive.

CAR-T, or chimeric antigen receptor T-cells, is a new form of cancer immunotherapy, where a patient’s own T cells are removed and re-engineered to identify and kill cancer cells.

77 patients with advanced diffuse large B-cell lymphoma were treated and the complete response rate at six months was 31%. Another 24 patients had two other forms of aggressive lymphomas. Combined, the 101 patients in the study had a 36% complete response rate after six months.

At the outset, there were three patient deaths. This is not uncommon with immunotherapy drugs which can ‘overcharge the immune response in the body, causing aut-immune like symptoms. No further safety issues were found in the follow up.

Also, the rate of serious ‘cytokine release syndrome’, a well-known and potentially fatal toxicity associated with CAR-T immunotherapy, fell to 13% at six months from 18% at three months. And there were no cases of cerebral edema reported in the study.

Kite is submitting a marketing application by end March 2017 for KTE-C19 in America, and in Europe by end 2017.

Go To: Latest review of cancer immunotherapy drugs and approaches


2017 Research
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