What is the efficacy of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy for solid tumors?

Updated: May 04, 2018
  • Author: Sameh Gaballa, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Use of CAR T-cell therapy to treat solid tumors has proved challenging because of the difficulty in identifying target antigens on the surface of solid tumors that are not also expressed on normal tissues. One promising candidate is the cancer germline antigen NY-ESO-1, which is expressed in 70%–80% of synovial cell sarcomas and approximately 25% of melanomas.

A pilot study of anti–NY-ESO-1 CAR T-cell therapy reported objective clinical responses in 11 of 18 patients with NY-ESO-1+ synovial cell sarcomas (61%) and 11 of 20 patients with NY-ESO-1+ melanomas (55%). Estimated overall 3- and 5-year survival rates for patients with synovial cell sarcoma were 38% and 14%, respectively, whereas the corresponding estimated survival rates for patients with melanoma were both 33%. [17]

Other trials in solid tumors include the following:

  • Phase I/II trial of anti-mesothelin CAR T-cells for metastatic or unresectable epithelial mesotheliomas, pancreatic cancers, and other cancers that express mesothelin [18]
  • CAR T-cells directed against epidermal growth factor receptor variant III (EGFRvIII) for treatment of recurrent glioblastoma [19]

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