Immune Cell Therapy Results are ‘Landmark Moment’ in Lymphoma Treatment

A clinical trial in the US has shown that four in ten patients with aggressive large B cell lymphoma were cancer-free 15 months after engineered immune cell treatment. The study included 108 patients who were not responding to standard treatment. This group were then given CAR T cell treatment to help boost their immune system’s ability to destroy cancer cells. The treatment focusses on one type of white blood cell called the T-Cell.

The immunotherapy works by extracting the T-cells and then altering them through genetic engineering. When infused back into the blood stream the T-cells are able to recognise specific cancer cells and help to destroy them.

Professor Karl Peggs, an immunotherapy expert at University College London, called the results exciting, and said the study had formed the basis for the treatment being approved quickly in the US.

“The follow-up in this study is still fairly short, so we don’t yet know the long-term effects of this treatment. But it’s a significant step forward”, he added. The trial also highlighted the potential for aggressive side effects, with all participants experiencing them to some degree. Further studies are also underway in the UK to test this immunotherapy treatment in patients with aggressive B cell lymphoma who have stopped responding to treatment or whose disease has come back.

To read more about immunotherapy and lymphoma please visit Cancer Research UK