Malcolm K. Brenner, MD, PhD
Discussant for the abstract, Malcolm K. Brenner, MD, PhD, of Baylor College of Medicine Texas Children’s Hospital, underscored the need to make chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy both safer and more effective. He also noted that overcoming antigen loss with multiple CARs is the next stage of development for the technology. In the trivalent CAR approach, he explained, different CARs are expressed on the same cell, but researchers have also explored using different CARs on different cells as well as “embedding a multiplicity of different specificities within a single CAR.”
“Each of those approaches has different pluses and minuses,” said Dr. Brenner, who acknowledged that “nobody knows just yet which of these approaches is going to be best in a larger number of patients.”
According to Dr. Brenner, it will also be necessary to add control mechanisms to the functionality of CAR T cells that can produce a rapid response over a wide dynamic range and improve safety. “With the ability to control the targeting and the activity of the CARs, we will come up with T cells that are safer and more effective for future use, and that’s going to be very important once we start using them for solid tumors,” Dr. Brenner concluded. ■
DISCLOSURE: Dr. Brenner has served as a consultant or advisor with Cell Medica, Formula, Memgen, NantKwest, Poseida, Tessa Therapeutics, Torque Pharma, and Uman Pharma.
A novel approach to chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy seems to effectively target acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells with varying antigen profiles and may help to overcome antigen escape, seen with CD19-targeted therapy. According to data presented at the 2018 ASCO-SITC Clinical...