August 18, 2017 – CART Cells


Anchor lead: Why do CAR-T cells cause so much excitement? Elizabeth Tracey reports

What in the world is a CAR-T cell and why is everyone so excited about them? Turns out these engineered cells have been recommended for approval by an FDA panel to treat advanced leukemias in children, who otherwise have no option left. Liz Jaffee, a cancer expert at Johns Hopkins and president elect of the American Association for Cancer Research, says their utility may go far beyond that.

Jaffee: A lot of science still needs to go into CAR-T cells to make this therapy something that will be of benefit to many different patients. The most important thing right now is to identify the best targets on cancers that differentiate the cancer from a normal cell of origin.  :16

Jaffee notes that one side effect of treatment remains problematic.

Jaffee:Even though the toxicity of this long term is the loss of B cells, all your B cells, well, why is that a problem? Well, B cells make antibodies and antibodies fight infection. We do have to be very careful with these patients because they are going to be susceptible to infection.  :16

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.