May 18, 2022 -- While chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy has become a game changer for some patients with blood cancer, the next area of evolution for the technology is solid tumors, according to Sangamo CEO Sandy Macrae, PhD.
"We need to better understand which patients we should target against. I think the evolution of CAR T is understanding beyond the blood tumors into the solid tumors, and that I think is more challenging," Macrae told ScienceBoard.net at the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT) 2022 annual meeting in Washington, DC.
However, if the industry is successful with creating allogeneic forms of the therapy "that could be given off-the-shelf" to patients urgently, then cancer could eventually become a "chronic disease of living," Macrae said.
Six CAR T-cell therapies have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. All are approved for the treatment of blood cancers. When it comes to the use of CAR T cells to treat solid tumors, advances are hard to come by. However, research on CAR T cells is continuing a pace, including hundreds of ongoing clinical trials.
"Like with all scientific discoveries, there is a moment where everyone thinks it's the best thing since sliced bread -- it'll solve everything. And then, a moment of reality where the despair that it isn't as good as it was thought. And then, a gradual evolution of understanding of which patients it does the best in," Macrae said.Sangamo has a CAR Treg program, not CAR T. At ASGCT, the company had eight abstracts accepted for presentation, including data from its CAR Treg-cell therapy platform for a first-in-human study involving renal transplantation.
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