David Porter, MD, on Preparing for CAR-T's Use in Autoimmune Diseases


The director of Cell Therapy and Transplant at Penn Medicine discussed important considerations with administering CAR-T in a new field.

This is part 3 of an interview with David Porter, MD. Click here to view the second part.

“I think there are a few issues that really have to be taken into account [with CAR-T cells for autoimmune diseases]. CAR T-cells have had a really remarkable impact on patients withhematologic malignancies.But they also have very unique and potentially dangerous side effects. And it is very, very important that they are used by clinicians, caregivers with expertise in cell therapy.”

2023 saw a record number of CAR T-cell therapies enter clinical trials for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, potentially indicating the next wave of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy indications from its origins in hematological malignancies. Trials for CAR T-cell therapies are being initiated for the potential treatment of diseases including lupus nephritis (LN) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), with earlier programs in other autoimmune diseases.

Notably, the new areas of investigation are in B-cell-driven autoimmune diseases like SLE and LN, a logical shift from approved CAR T-cell therapies that target malignant B-cells. Players in the new investigational field include Kyverna Therapeutics’ KYV-101 and Nkarta’s NKX019 in LN, ImmPACT Bio’s IMPT-514 and Gracell Bio’s GC012F in SLE, and Cabaletta Bio’s CABA-201 and Artiva Bio’s AB-101 being investigated in both SLE and LN.

CGTLive® spoke with David Porter, MD, director of Cell Therapy and Transplant and Jodi Fisher Horowitz Professor in Leukemia Care Excellence, University of Pennsylvania Medicine, to learn more about some of the considerations that have to be kept in mind with the shift from oncology to autoimmune diseases. Chief among his concerns was the importance of specialized training and experience with administering, monitoring, and caring for patients receiving CAR T-cell therapies given the potential for serious adverse events.

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