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CAR-T Cell Therapy Effective Against Aggressive Brain Tumors, Say City Of Hope Researchers

1 January 2017, 9:00 pm EST By Livia Rusu Tech Times
New case study published reported regression in brain cancer patient after a CAR-T based treatment. The patient, who was a 50 year old man with methastasis, now has a chance at surviving the disease.  ( Matt Cardy | Getty Images )

A patient has been successful treated from recurrent multifocal glioblastoma through the means of CAR-T therapy. The method involves a specific kind of immunotherapy which targets cells where the IL13Rα2 antigen is present. The antigen is very common when it comes to brain cancer.

Published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Dec. 29, the study details the successful treatment of the patient — cured with his own genetically-modified chimeric antigen receptor (CAR-T cells).

Brain Cancer Patient Successfully Treated

After failing the standard care therapy and being admitted to the City of Hope phase I clinical trial, the 50-year-old man suffering from brain cancer finally responded to treatment.

The trial aimed to test the degree of safety when it comes to employing CAR-T cell therapy directly into their tumors of brain cancer patient. The man was subjected to a series of infusions, to which his body responded positively.

After being administered the treatment, the brain and the spinal tumors had registered regression. Additionally, the number of immune cells found in the cerebrospinal fluid also increased. This clinical response was sustained for seven and a half months after the initiation of CAR-T cell therapy, as underlined by the case study.

The news was extremely good for the patient, who had entered metastasis and now has a good chance at surviving.

"I believe these recent results show we have a potential breakthrough treatment that may have a remarkable impact on patients with malignant brain tumors," noted Behnam Badie, M.D. co-senior author of the paper and head of neurosurgery at the facility where the treatment was carried out.

CAR-T Treatment

The CAR-T treatment is currently employed in treating a series of other conditions as well, such as blood cancer and HIV. In 2015, there was a case of a patient who died while under the treatment. Kite Pharma, the company responsible with the treatment, noted that there was no connection between the patient's unfortunate death and the having been administered the treatment.

This kind of genetic immunotherapy technique has also been employed in treating HIV. The treatment tried to target the cells containing the virus and kill it without affecting the wellbeing of the patient. However, before being administered to people, the treatment should undergo other preliminary phases.

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