Advantages of Allogeneic CAR T-Cell Therapy for Hematologic Malignancies

Nitin Jain, MD, discusses the progress of allogeneic chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy for B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and other hematologic malignancies.

Nitin Jain, MD, associate professor in the department of leukemia, division of cancer medicine, at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the progress of allogeneic chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy for B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) and other hematologic malignancies.

CAR T-cell therapy has advanced in recent years with several products being approved for use, but these are primarily autologous CAR T-cell therapies. They are derived from the patient’s T cells after being removed through leukapheresis and then turned into CAR T cells before being infused into the patient again.

According to Jain, there are many clinical trials of allogeneic CAR T-cell therapy in which CAR T cells can come from a healthy donor, umbilical cord blood, or in vitro cell lines. These therapies can be given more quickly since they don’t require leukapheresis, can be given off the shelf, and do not require bridging therapy. Though some of these therapies have shown efficacy in trials, there are limited data at this time compared with the clinical experience with autologous CAR T-cell therapies.

TRANSCRIPTION:

0:08 | The field of CAR T-cell [therapy] has moved rapidly in the last few years. Most of the approved CAR T products right now are autologous CAR T cells, which are T cells derived from the patients after leukapheresis, which drive these T cells and make them into CARs. The field of allogeneic CAR T cells is evolving, where you derive the T cells not from the patient, but from either a healthy donor, or from umbilical cord blood, or from some type of cell line. These are a new wave of CAR T cells which are in clinical trials right now.

The advantages are these CAR T cells are available right away. You don't have to wait for leukapheresis, you don't have to wait for bridging chemotherapy, and they're available off the shelf. These can be given to patients almost right away. That is the biggest advantage of these CAR T cells. Obviously, very limited data is available at this time in terms of clinical data for these CAR T cells compared with what we know about autologous CAR T cells.