Limited Success of CAR T Cells in Solid Tumors

Steven M. Albelda, MD, discusses introduction of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy in the solid tumor space.

Steven M. Albelda, MD, William Maul Measey professor of Medicine at Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, discusses introduction of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy in the solid tumor space, which he presented on during the 26th Annual International Congress on Hematologic Malignancies, hosted by Physician’s Education Resource®.


0:07 | First of all, I was honest to the audience that unlike what they are used to, which is amazing success and leukemias, lymphomas, and recently on multiple myeloma, that the success rate in solid tumors has been much, much lower. And what I tried to do is go over some of the reasons for that. And some of them are similar between the blood tumors, and some of them are specific for solid tumors.

0:34 | So, for example, I think, well, all CAR T cells will suffer from this problem of tumor heterogeneity, where some tumor cells expressed the targeted antigen and some don't, that's not a real big problem with something like B-cell leukemias [and] lymphomas, because almost all the cells expressed the target, which is CD19. It's a much bigger problem with solid tumors because there's much more heterogeneity that, you know, there's hardly ever a tumor where 100% of the cells would express the target antigen.

1:09 | So, that's going to be a big problem, which is either going to have to be addressed by targeting multiple antigens or having the cars deliver cargoes that then kill the tumor cells in different ways or potentially inducing an immune response in the patient that is much broader than what the CAR T-cell is that could target some other antigens.