John Theurer Cancer Center, part of Hackensack University Medical Center is one of the few sites offering chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy—a highly promising form of personalized immunotherapy for certain blood cancers—and has been involved in CAR T-cell research for nearly a decade.
Cancer cells are able to grow and escape the immune system’s natural ability to kill cancer cells. CAR T-cells are reengineered to break down barriers and make them able to attack cancer cells again, harnessing the power of the immune system. This represents a breakthrough that will revolutionize the field of oncology. This new treatment modality has shown remarkable activity in patients with leukemia or lymphoma who failed all existing therapies.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved CAR T-cell therapy for use in patients up to age 25 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) that either came back or stopped responding to other leukemia treatments, and to treat adult patients with certain types of large B-cell lymphoma who have not responded to or who have relapsed after at least two other kinds of treatment. The treatment is under study and expected to be approved for other types of blood cancer.