Case Report: Adoptive T-Cell Tx Shows Promise in Glioblastoma

Excerpt:

“Treatment with autologous chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-engineered T cells targeting the tumor-associated antigen interleukin-13 receptor alpha 2 (IL13Rα2) is associated with tumor regression in recurrent multifocal glioblastoma, according to a case report published in the Dec. 29 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

“Christine E. Brown, Ph.D., from the City of Hope Beckman Research Institute and Medical Center in Duarte, Calif., and colleagues describe their clinical experience with a patient with recurrent multifocal glioblastoma who received CAR-engineered T cells. Over 220 days, multiple infusions of CAR T cells were administered through two intracranial delivery routes: infusions into the resected tumor cavity followed by infusions into the ventricular system.”

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INSIGHT-Safety Concerns Cloud Early Promise of Powerful New Cancer Drugs

“A new wave of experimental cancer drugs that directly recruit the immune system’s powerful T cells are proving to be immensely effective weapons against tumors, potentially transforming the $100 billion global market for drugs that fight the disease.

“But top oncology researchers are concerned about the two emerging technologies, citing dangers seen repeatedly in clinical trials including the potentially fatal buildup of toxic debris from killed tumor cells and damage to healthy tissue. Such side effects could block regulatory approval if they aren’t controlled, researchers and drug company executives said in interviews with Reuters.

“In some trials, the two new approaches, known as CAR T cells and bispecific antibodies, have eliminated all traces of blood cancers in 40 percent to 90 percent of patients who had no remaining options. The drugs could reap annual sales in the tens of billions of dollars for their manufacturers, especially if they can also eliminate solid tumors in such terminally ill patients.”


Two Mutations Linked to Success of Adoptive T-Cell Therapy in Melanoma

“Two novel mutations, KIF2C and POLA2, appeared to be linked to complete cancer regression in two patients with metastatic melanoma who underwent adoptive T-cell immunotherapy, according to study results.

“ ‘This study provides the technical solution to identify mutated tumor targets that can stimulate immune responses, which is one of the major bottlenecks in developing a new generation of adoptive T-cell therapy,’ Steven A. Rosenberg, MD, PhD, chief of surgery at the NCI, said in a press release. ‘The two targets identified in this study play important roles in cancer cell proliferation.’ ”

Editor’s note: In order to improve new treatments so that more people can benefit from them, it is useful to figure out why they are particularly successful for certain patients. In this story, researchers wished to know why two people with metastatic melanoma experienced complete disappearance of their tumors in response to a treatment called adoptive T-cell transfer. In adoptive T cell transfer, immune system cells are collected from either the patient’s tumor or the blood supply near the tumor. In the laboratory, these cells are multiplied to produce high numbers of ‘killer’ T cells, which are then infused back into the patient, where they are able to recognize and attack cancer cells. It was found that the two patients with exceptionally good responses had two genetic mutations in their tumor cells that the T cells were able to attack directly. The discovery could help researchers learn how to make adoptive T cell transfer more effective for more people.


Patient’s Cells Deployed to Attack Aggressive Cancer

“Doctors have taken an important step toward a long-sought goal: harnessing a person’s own immune system to fight cancer.

“An article published Thursday in the journal Science describes the treatment of a 43-year-old woman with an advanced and deadly type of cancer that had spread from her bile duct to her liver and lungs, despite chemotherapy.

“Researchers at the National Cancer Institute sequenced the genome of her cancer and identified cells from her immune system that attacked a specific mutation in the malignant cells. Then they grew those immune cells in the laboratory and infused billions of them back into her bloodstream.

“The tumors began ‘melting away,’ said Dr. Steven A. Rosenberg, the senior author of the article and chief of the surgery branch at the cancer institute.”

Editor’s note: This story is about an “immunotherapy” technique meant to boost a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer. Learn more about immunotherapy here.


Patient’s Cells Deployed to Attack Aggressive Cancer

“Doctors have taken an important step toward a long-sought goal: harnessing a person’s own immune system to fight cancer.

“An article published Thursday in the journal Science describes the treatment of a 43-year-old woman with an advanced and deadly type of cancer that had spread from her bile duct to her liver and lungs, despite chemotherapy.

“Researchers at the National Cancer Institute sequenced the genome of her cancer and identified cells from her immune system that attacked a specific mutation in the malignant cells. Then they grew those immune cells in the laboratory and infused billions of them back into her bloodstream.

“The tumors began ‘melting away,’ said Dr. Steven A. Rosenberg, the senior author of the article and chief of the surgery branch at the cancer institute.”

Editor’s note: This story is about an “immunotherapy” technique meant to boost a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer. Learn more about immunotherapy here.


Patient’s Cells Deployed to Attack Aggressive Cancer

“Doctors have taken an important step toward a long-sought goal: harnessing a person’s own immune system to fight cancer.

“An article published Thursday in the journal Science describes the treatment of a 43-year-old woman with an advanced and deadly type of cancer that had spread from her bile duct to her liver and lungs, despite chemotherapy.

“Researchers at the National Cancer Institute sequenced the genome of her cancer and identified cells from her immune system that attacked a specific mutation in the malignant cells. Then they grew those immune cells in the laboratory and infused billions of them back into her bloodstream.

“The tumors began ‘melting away,’ said Dr. Steven A. Rosenberg, the senior author of the article and chief of the surgery branch at the cancer institute.”

Editor’s note: This story is about an “immunotherapy” technique meant to boost a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer. Learn more about immunotherapy here.


Deploying the Body's Army

“More than a century ago, American bone surgeon William Coley came across the case of Fred Stein, whose aggressive cheek sarcoma had disappeared after he suffered a Streptococcus pyogenesinfection following surgery to remove part of the large tumor. Seven years later, Coley tracked Stein down and found him alive, with no evidence of cancer. Amazed, Coley speculated that the immune response to the bacterial infection had played an integral role in fighting the disease, and the doctor went on to inoculate more than 10 other patients suffering from inoperable tumors with Streptococcus bacteria. Sure enough, several of those who survived the infection—and one who did not—experienced tumor reduction.”

Editor’s note: This article is a great overview of immunotherapy for treating cancer. Immunotherapy drugs boost a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer. Learn more.


Deploying the Body's Army

“More than a century ago, American bone surgeon William Coley came across the case of Fred Stein, whose aggressive cheek sarcoma had disappeared after he suffered a Streptococcus pyogenesinfection following surgery to remove part of the large tumor. Seven years later, Coley tracked Stein down and found him alive, with no evidence of cancer. Amazed, Coley speculated that the immune response to the bacterial infection had played an integral role in fighting the disease, and the doctor went on to inoculate more than 10 other patients suffering from inoperable tumors with Streptococcus bacteria. Sure enough, several of those who survived the infection—and one who did not—experienced tumor reduction.”

Editor’s note: This article is a great overview of immunotherapy for treating cancer. Immunotherapy drugs boost a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer. Learn more.


Deploying the Body's Army

“More than a century ago, American bone surgeon William Coley came across the case of Fred Stein, whose aggressive cheek sarcoma had disappeared after he suffered a Streptococcus pyogenesinfection following surgery to remove part of the large tumor. Seven years later, Coley tracked Stein down and found him alive, with no evidence of cancer. Amazed, Coley speculated that the immune response to the bacterial infection had played an integral role in fighting the disease, and the doctor went on to inoculate more than 10 other patients suffering from inoperable tumors with Streptococcus bacteria. Sure enough, several of those who survived the infection—and one who did not—experienced tumor reduction.”

Editor’s note: This article is a great overview of immunotherapy for treating cancer. Immunotherapy drugs boost a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer. Learn more.