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Dr. Duncan on the Expansion of CAR T-Cell Therapy

Christine N. Duncan, MD, a senior physician at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and assistant professor of pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, discusses the expansion of CAR T-cell therapy in oncology.

Christine N. Duncan, MD, a senior physician at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and assistant professor of pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, discusses the expansion of CAR T-cell therapy in oncology.

Since its inception in B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), it is exciting to see CAR T-cell therapy expand to other malignancies and patient populations, says Duncan. It is also encouraging to see products being developed that target more than CD19, as patients with CD19-targeted disease treated with CD19-directed CAR T-cell therapy ultimately relapse with CD19-negative disease. Now, there are data showing that CAR T cells can be used to target both CD19 and CD22.

Beyond that, there's a population of patients who have relapsed T-cell ALL, who until recently, were unable to receive CAR T-cell therapy, says Duncan. Those patients have a poor survival rate after relapse of approximately 28% or less. It's exciting to see CAR T-cell studies developing and expanding to include very high-risk patient populations. In keeping with the current pace of progress, investigators are hopeful that CAR T-cell therapy will expand to entirely new populations.