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Therapy Fails Patients With CLL

Published: 2020-03-10 |

Author: Christina Bennett, MS |

Source: Cancer Therapy Advisor

Although anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR-T) therapy has led to dramatic results in patients with hematological malignancies who seemingly out of treatment options, it is far from a panacea for all patients, as a meaningful portion have disease that either never respond to CAR-T or eventually comes back after treatment with CAR-T.

To develop drugs for these patients who have exhausted yet another treatment option, drug developers need to know how long these patients survive after CAR-T therapy so that they have historical controls in the post CAR-T setting. These controls are thought to be the most useful as benchmarks for future trials. "Not a lot is known as to what happens in the patients for whom CAR-T therapy does not work," James Gerson, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, told Cancer Therapy Advisor. "Anecdotally, we say that patients often progress rapidly and aren't able to get further therapies, but it's not something there's a lot of data for."

With CAR-T therapy coming to the forefront as a treatment option, he said "a lot" of patients are going to get CAR-T therapy earlier on in their treatment course. As a result, drug discovery is most likely going to move forward in the post-CAR-T space because that will be the unmet need.

Researchers from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Washington, are helping address this unmet need, for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

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