Giuseppe L. Banna, MD, consultant, Medical Oncology, Cannizzaro Hospital, discusses the potential for CAR T-cell therapy in the treatment of patients with lung cancer.
Giuseppe L. Banna, MD, consultant, Division of Medical Oncology, Cannizzaro Hospital, discusses the potential use of CAR T-cell therapy in the treatment of patients with lung cancer. Banna presented research at the 2019 European Lung Cancer Congress in Geneva, Switzerland.
There are numerous ongoing trials addressing the role of CAR T-cell therapy in lung cancer and other solid tumors, but there are 2 main challenges that researchers are faced with. As in hematologic malignancies, it is very hard to define a therapeutic target. Specifically, Banna adds, this is the case if the target does not exist in normal cells. As such, CAR T-cell therapy tends to have off-target effects leading to toxicity.
Because it is difficult for CAR T cells to directly hit their target, a number of ongoing trials are looking at administering the therapy directly into the tumor. For example, there is a mesothelioma-specific study where the CAR T cells are inserted directly into the pleura. Banna concludes that if these challenges are overcome, CAR T cell-therapy could make headway in thoracic malignancies.