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Challenges Remain to be Addressed With CAR T-Cell Therapy in DLBCL

Bianca D. Santomasso, MD, PhD
Published Online:4:54 PM, Wed December 18, 2019


Bianca D. Santomasso, MD, PhD, assistant attending neurologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the challenges that exist for the treatment of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy.

The potential for relapse and the toxicities themselves both pose unique challenges with CAR T-cell therapy, Santomasso says. Some CAR T cells are administered in patients because of the risk of toxicity, so minimizing the risk of relapse and toxicities would be a great next step in the treatment paradigm. Additionally, Santomasso says it would be great if these treatments could even be moved to the outpatient setting. This has already been tested with 1 CAR T-cell therapy in clinical trials.

Other major issues with CAR T cells are the manufacturing time and moving these therapies quickly to the patient. Often, patients with relapsed/refractory  DLBCL will progress to the point where they can’t receive this cellular therapy, so quicker manufacturing time would be better, Santomasso says. There is a need for off-the-shelf CAR T cells that could be delivered quicker with less manufacturing interventions. However, she notes that kind of product has not been developed yet.
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