Dr. Chari on Impact of CAR T Cells in Myeloma

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Ajai Chari, MD, associate professor of medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology, Mount Sinai Hospital, discusses the impact of CAR T-cell therapy in myeloma.

Ajai Chari, MD, associate professor of medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology, Mount Sinai Hospital, discusses the impact of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy in patients with myeloma.

Recent data with CAR T cells have been very encouraging, particularly with the phase I trial of bb2121 that was presented at the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting. In a penta-refractory patient population, median progression-free survival was almost 1 year and overall response rate was 96%. Chari says this is important because these results are being seen with just 1 intervention of CAR T, unlike other treatment strategies that continue over an extended period of time.

Something to keep in mind about CAR T-cell therapy is the toxicity, especially cytokine release syndrome. It is also difficult to compare outcomes with other off-the-shelf treatment options because there is selection bias with patients who enroll for CAR T cells. Other unanswered questions with this treatment are shortening manufacturing time, getting larger patient populations enrolled, and if this therapy can be combined with other treatment.

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