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Relapses After CAR-T Therapy Offer Insight for New Strategies

November 19, 2020

Both the United States and Europe approved commercial chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR‐T) therapy products after their striking performance in patients with hematological malignancies in clinical trials, but CAR-T therapy has a dark side, according to a review paper in Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology. 

“Despite the initial remarkable responses,” researchers wrote, “many patients finally relapse, implying the presence of resistance mechanisms.” 

Researchers described “a complexity of limitations and resistance mechanisms” to anti-CD19 CAR T-cells affecting a significant proportion of patients who initially respond to therapy but eventually experience both antigen-positive and antigen-negative relapses. Understanding these, they explained, will lead to new approaches for improved exploitation of the potential of CAR-T therapy.

“Hopefully,” they wrote, “the advent of such novel strategies in the near future could render CAR-T therapy a safe and potentially curative treatment for high risk patients.”

Jolynn Tumolo 


Bouziana S, Bouzianas D. Anti-CD19 CAR-T cells: Digging in the dark side of the golden therapy [published online ahead of print, 2020 Sep 28]. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2020;157:103096. doi:10.1016/j.critrevonc.2020.103096

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