Why are CAR-T cell therapies being investigated by the FDA? Elizabeth Tracey reports


CAR-T cells, used to treat cancer in some people, are now being investigated by the US Food and Drug Administration for possibly causing additional cancers. Kimmel Cancer Center director William Nelson at Johns Hopkins explains why there’s a concern.

Nelson: The current strategy to make our T cells and use them for cancer treatment is to harvest T cells, they’re immune cells, then outside the body insert genes into them that enable them to recognize the cancer cells that they hopefully will chase down and kill when they're reinfused into the body. The Food and Drug administration since they approved these platforms there have been 19 cases of leukemias and lymphomas. The reason they're worried about them is that these could be cancers that arose in the cells that were modified.  :34

Nelson says it should be straightforward to determine if these cancers are associated with the CAR-T cells or not by simply looking for viral DNA used in the process. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.