Brian Van Tine, MD, PhD, on Progress and Challenges With Cell Therapy for Sarcoma


The professor of medicine and pediatrics at Washington University in St. Louis discussed the current investigative landscape for cell therapy in treating sarcomas.

“We've learned that there's issues with cytokine release syndrome, which is why this has to be given impatient by people that know what they're doing. But compared to getting chemothearpy once every 3 weeks, it's much safer and much better tolerated in the long term. And so, we're really trying to spread the message that everybody should know their (HLA) status. I think as these become more prevalent, and the targets become more available, hopefully everybody will eventually have access to something like this.”

July was Sarcoma Awareness Month and CGTLive spoke with Brian Van Tine, professor, medicine and pediatrics, Washington University in St. Louis, to learn more about the current state of therapy in the disease, recent progress in the field, and challenges that still remain. Van Tine discussed accessibility challenges that persist despite novel cell therapies coming closer to market, namely human leukocyte antigen restrictions for most therapies in development. He shared his belief that more doors will soon open in terms of targets for cell therapies.

Van Tine serves as investigator on the SPEARHEAD-1 trial (NCT04044768) assessing afamitresgene autoleucel (afami-cel; AdaptImmune) T-cell receptor SPEAR T-cell therapy in patients with advanced synovial sarcoma (SS) and myxoid/round cell liposarcoma. The trial most recently demonstrated a survival benefit in patients with advanced SS and Van Tine presented these data at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2023 Annual Meeting, held June 2-6, in Chicago, Illinois.

Van Tine BA, Ganjoo KN, Blay JY, et al. The SPEARHEAD-1 trial of afamitresgeneautoleucel (afami-cel [formerly ADP-A2M4]): Analysis of overall survival in advanced synovial sarcoma. Presented at: ASCO 2023 Annual Meeting; June 2-6; Chicago, Illinois. Poster #497
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