Unprecedented CAR-T data shows 100% response rate

pharmafile | June 7, 2017 | News story | Research and Development ASCO, CAR T, CAR-T 

Researchers celebrated a world-first at the American Society of Clinical Oncology conference, revealing data which showed that, in a study examining patients suffering from multiple myeloma, CAR-T therapy achieved a 100% response rate across all participants, with every one but two reaching some form of remission within two months.

The data was also bolstered by a second study in which every participant administered with a dose above a specific threshold also responded to the therapy.

While the news is unprecedented, the results represent a small sample group – 35 in the first group, and 21 in the second. However, when compared to other treatment options, chemotherapy has a response rate of around 10-30% of patients, immunotherapy drugs affect around 35-40%, and gene-targeting drugs produce results in around 70-80%.

Of the 35 trial participants in the first study, 14 are currently in complete remission, while 19 are currently being assessed for the same level. Five have seen their cancer shrink and have entered partial remission. Of these participants, some have seen no signs of disease in more than a year.

In the second study, undertaken by US firms Bluebird Bio and Celgene, administered four doses of a cell treatment developed by the National Cancer Institute. 15 of these were deemed to have received an adequate dose, due to a positive response to the treatment. Four have reached full remission so far.

Legend Biotech – the author of the Chinese study – now plans to expand the scope of its trials by repeating the test in 100 patients in China, with a US study planned early next year.  

Matt Fellows

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