Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapies, which use a patient’s own immune cells to fight cancer, are one of the most exciting breakthroughs in cancer treatment for decades. Research into this technology has been ongoing since the early 1990s, but only in the last few years have these treatments been successfully used to treat cancer in humans. The process involves extracting immune cells from a patient, inserting an artificial CAR gene into each cell, and then infusing them back. These engineered cells help to recognise and attack cancer cells specifically.
So far, CAR-T therapies have only been used in treating blood cancers, with research into treating other cancer types further behind in the development process. There is an abundance of ongoing research into developing CAR-Ts for solid tumours and many other cancer indications, with clinicaltrials.gov listing over 500 trials with the keyword CAR-T, ~400 of them ongoing.
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