Global Health Asia-Pacific July 2022 - Page 40


A Patient ’ s Guide to CAR T-cell Therapy

Acancer treatment that has often made the headlines , Chimeric Antigen Receptor ( CAR ) T-cell Therapy can give some patients with blood cancer a new lease of life by training immune cells to pinpoint and kill cancerous tissue .

One example is acute lymphoblastic leukaemia ( ALL ), a common paediatric cancer that is hard to treat when it relapses but can be eradicated by CAR T-cell Therapy . In a clinical trial , researchers at the US National Cancer Institute found that more than half the children treated with the therapy received a potentially curative stem�cell transplant and were alive five years later without suffering any relapse or disease�related problems .
Similarly , chronic lymphocytic leukaemia ( CLL ) was incurable before CAR T-cell Therapy was developed , but some patients can now be cured in a short period of time . In a remarkable sign that the therapy can provide long-term remission , a study showed that two of the first patients who underwent the therapy in ���� were still free of the disease and had detectable cancer-killing cells �� years on .
Despite its huge life-saving potential , CAR T-cell therapy is a highly specialised treatment for selected patients , and doctors at Parkway Cancer Centre in Singapore have compiled a useful guide to better understand who ’ s a good candidate , what the therapy involves as well as its pros and cons .
38 JULY 2022 GlobalHealthAsiaPacific . com