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Challenges with CAR T-cell therapy in ALL

Friday, August 4, 2017

Gail Roboz, M.D., a professor of medicine and director of the Clinical and Translational Leukemia Program at Weill Cornell Medicine/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, speaks to OncLive about the challenges clinicians are facing with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

CAR T-cell therapy has been an interesting and exciting treatment modality, but it is not yet curing patients, Roboz explains. One of its major limitations has been for patients who have received multiple other therapies, since they may not be in an ideal condition to either deliver T cells or to wait until their own T cells are engineered. For some patients, they may also experience disease progression in 3 months or so until those cells are available. Overall, it's a therapeutic modality with some logistical difficulties associated with it, she adds.

Researchers are working to make inroads into earlier phases of ALL so that they are not waiting until patients have relapsed disease and when they are more difficult to treat.