Beneficial reduction of CAR T-cell manufacturing from 9-14 days to 3 days?

A murine study has shown that preparation time of individualized gene therapy – CAR T – can be reduced by a week. Simultaneously, the reduction improves dosage and function of the therapy.

CAR T (chimeric antigen receptor in T cells) relies on a lengthy process directly utilizing patient’s cells. After the blood draw, T cells from the immune system are genetically modified to produce proteins (CARs) specific for treated cancer. Proper edition and proliferation of cells requires 9-14 days. Modified T cells are then injected into the bloodstream and directly fight cancer. CAR-T is currently approved for acute lymphoblastic leukemias and advanced lymphomas.

Researchers successfully derived CAR T-cells after only three days of culturing. This procedure provided a lower number of cells, but in the murine model lower dosage was sufficient for induction of desired effects on cancer. Improvement may be possibly explained by reduced differentiation of T cells from initial, genetically modified state.

In addition to better dosage and function, shorter CAR T therapy should be less expensive.

The procedure was named: minimally cultured T-cells.

More: “Reducing Ex Vivo Culture Improves the Anti-leukemic Activity of Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR)-T Cells”, S. Ghassemi et al., 2018, doi:10.1158/2326-6066.cir-17-0405.