Overcoming Challenges With Use of CAR T-Cell Therapy in Solid Tumors

Samer A. Srour, MD, explains the history of researching chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy in solid tumors.

Samer A. Srour, MD, assistant professor, Department of Stem Cell Transplantation, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, explains the history of researching chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy in solid tumors.

To date, most studies exploring CAR T-cell therapy in solid tumors have failed, according to Srour. However, over the past 5 years, the has been more interested in trying to mirror the success shown with CAR T cells in patients with hematologic malignancies, he said. Multiple CAR T-cell agents are FDA approved to treat hematologic malignancies, but in solid tumors, there are none.

Several studies are ongoing to further explore the possibilities of using CAR T cells to treat various solid tumors.


0:08 | We have been doing this for, I would say maybe 2 decades. But the success of it, if you want to see such encouraging results, as we've seen with [ALLO-316], that's maybe something new. I would say over the last 3 to 5 years, there was a renewed interest in exploring more and more CAR T-cell therapy in solid tumors. First because we have been very successful in the hematologic malignancies. Then, we got the FDA approval, a historic approval for a CAR T-cell product in the lymphoma abd leukemia. That renewed our interest that we can do something even in solid tumors.

1:04 | We have several studies, I would say, maybe hundreds of these studies across not just United States and abroad. We are trying different modalities to improve the outcomes in prostate cancer, thyroid cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and lung cancer. You just name it.

1:29 | I run several of these studies which have basket studies as well. We look at targets and then we identify the percentage of that tumor antigen we treat them. And I can tell you that I think overall we are started to overcome many of the challenges in several tumor subtypes. And we are encouraged with results like ALLO-316 and some others recently were. We are getting into that new era where we will hopefully soon, in the coming few years, be able to establish some sort of new standards.

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