What Does the Future of CAR-T Hold?
Moderator: Alessandra Cesano, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer, ESSA
Panelists: Adrian Bot, MD, PhD, Vice President, Translational Medicine, Kite, a Gilead Company; Lisa Butterfield , PhD, Vice President, PICI Research and Development, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, Adjunct Professor, Microbiology and Immunology, University California San Francisco; Francesco Marincola, MD, Global Head, Research, Kite, a Gilead Company
Chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) are fusion proteins engineered from antigen recognition, signaling, and costimulatory domains that can be used to reprogram immune cells to specifically target tumor cells expressing specific antigens. CAR-T cells-based treatments have demonstrated dramatic curative potential in a subset of patients with refractory B cell malignancies. However, current CAR-T cell therapy still faces several challenges, including suboptimal persistence and potency, impaired trafficking to solid tumors, local immunosuppression within the tumor microenvironment and intrinsic toxicity associated with the CAR-T cell products.
To overcome these challenges, additional genetic engineering of CARs combined with synthetic biology and the use of combinational therapy are currently being investigated to provide cellular immunotherapy with novel attributes necessary to overcome its hypo-functionality, trafficking issues, and the immunosuppressive forces in the TME. In addition, efforts to enhance the safety profile of CARs with better spatial and temporal control of their activity and persistence after deployment are also under investigation.
This panel discussion will focus on recent strategies to improve the clinical efficacy of CAR-T cell therapy and other exciting CAR approaches currently under investigation, including CAR natural killer (NK) products.