What are some advantages of CAR T-cell therapy?

The major advantage is that CAR T-cell therapy is a single infusion that usually requires at the most two weeks of inpatient care, and then it’s done. In contrast, newly diagnosed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and childhood leukemia patients usually need at least six months or more of chemotherapy.
CAR T-cell therapy is also a living drug, and its benefits can last for many years. Since the cells can persist in the body long-term, they will still recognize and attack cancer cells if and when there’s a relapse. The data is still evolving, but after 15 months, 42% of adult lymphoma patients who received CD19 CAR T-cell therapy were still in remission. And two-thirds of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients were still in remission after six months. These are patients whose cancers were deemed very aggressive and for whom other standards of care had failed.


Domestically, the main treatment for leukemia is chemotherapy. The following is experimental data comparing the efficacy of chemotherapy with CAR-T therapy:
1. Treatment of relapsed or refractory B-cell acute leukemia in children or young adults (B system r/r type ALL)

2. For relapsed ALL after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT)
3. For relapsed ALL after chemotherapy

Wei, G., Hu, Y., Pu, C. et al. Ann Hematol (2018).

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and is quite aggressive. Many people can be successfully treated with a combination of chemotherapy and rituximab (Rituxan), a targeted therapy. However, these types of lymphomas can sometimes worsen during treatment, called “refractory lymphoma,” or they can come back after treatment, called “recurrent lymphoma.” In these cases, CAR T cells may be an effective treatment option.

source:NCCN B Cell Clinical Guide 2017 V4 Edition