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A Breakthrough in Cancer Treatment

Cancer is a complex and devastating disease that affects millions of people worldwide. While traditional cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation can be effective, they also come with a host of side effects.

In recent years, a new form of cancer treatment known as CAR T cell therapy has emerged, offering hope for patients with cancer who have failed other treatments. In this article, we’ll explore what CAR T cell therapy is, how it works, and its potential benefits for patients with cancer.

What is CAR T Cell Therapy?

Morse Images/ Getty Images | CAR T-cell therapy involves isolating a patient’s T cells and then transfecting them with the CAR gene

CAR T cell therapy is a type of immunotherapy that involves using a patient’s immune system to fight cancer. The therapy involves removing T cells from a patient’s blood, modifying them to express a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR), and then infusing them back into the patient’s bloodstream. These modified T cells, known as CAR T cells, are designed to recognize and target cancer cells.

How Does CAR T Cell Therapy Work?

CAR T cell therapy works by harnessing the immune system’s power to fight cancer. The T cells used in the treatment are a type of white blood cell that is responsible for recognizing and destroying invading pathogens, including cancer cells.

The T cells are modified to express a CAR, which is a molecule that allows the T cells to recognize and bind to a specific antigen on the surface of cancer cells. Once the CAR T cells have bound to the cancer cells, they release toxic substances that kill the cancer cells.

CAR T cell therapy is effective in treating a range of blood cancers, including acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). The therapy has also shown promise in treating solid tumours, although further research is needed.

Benefits of CAR T Cell Therapy

Devin Golden/ ACGTF | The infusion of CAR -T cells typically takes 30 to 90 minutes

CAR T cell therapy offers a number of benefits over traditional cancer treatments. These benefits include:

Targeted Therapy

CAR T cell therapy is a targeted therapy, which means it specifically targets cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed. This is in contrast to traditional cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation, which can damage healthy cells along with cancer cells.

Durable Responses

CAR T cell therapy has been shown to produce durable responses in patients with cancer. In some cases, patients have experienced complete remission from their cancer for several years after undergoing CAR T cell therapy.

Devin Golden/ ACGTF | The therapy can lead to long-lasting remissions for some patients with very advanced cancer

Fewer Side Effects

CAR T cell therapy is associated with fewer side effects than traditional cancer treatments. The most common side effects of CAR T cell therapy are fever, fatigue, and low blood pressure, which are generally mild and short-lived.

Personalized Medicine

CAR T cell therapy is a form of personalized medicine, which means that it is tailored to the individual patient’s cancer. This is because the T cells used in the therapy are taken from the patient’s blood, ensuring that they are an exact match for the patient’s cancer.

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