CAR T-cell therapy is a type of personalized cancer treatment in which a patient’s T-cells (a type of immune cell) are modified in the laboratory to attack the cancer cells. The immune system of the body operates by keeping a close eye on all the substances that are found in the body. CAR T-cell therapy is aimed at boosting the immune responses of the body so that they can proactively target and kill cancer cells. This line of treatment is often used when other treatment methods have been exhausted. CAR T-cell therapy has been proven to be effective since it offers negligible side effects to a patient compared to other forms of cancer treatments.
How CAR T-Cell Therapy Works
The immune responses of the body use antigens on the surface of the cells to identify whether an entity is harmful or not. The T-cells of the body are part of the immune cell network and have their own proteins called receptors which attach to foreign antigens. This then boosts and triggers the other immune cells of the body to destroy the harmful pathogen. Cancer cells also have antigens although if the immune system doesn’t have the right receptor then they can’t attach themselves to the antigens and get rid of the cancer cells.
In CAR T-cell therapy, T-cells are taken from a patient’s blood and are treated in the lab. A gene for a receptor known as the Chimeric Antigen Receptor aka CAR enables the T cells to attach themselves to a particular cancer antigen. Due to the fact that each cancer has different antigens, CAR T-cell therapy is a personalized form of cancer treatment.
Efficacy of CAR T-Cell Therapy
The initial development of CAT T-Cell Therapy primarily focussed on the most commonly diagnosed cancer in children – acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Chemotherapy has been the commonly used line of treatment for such cancers however, effective treatment options have been limited for patients with a possibility of a relapse. CAR T-cell therapy has shown positive results for such patients. In a clinical trial conducted by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which focussed on the long-term effects of CAR T-Cell Therapy in children with relapsed ALL, the results were extremely positive for this subset of immunotherapy.
The results showed that approximately 60% of participants, who were a part of this study, showed no possibility of a relapse even after 5 years. As CAR T-cell therapy has become more widely available, it has gained the status of the standard care of treatment for ALL. Along with this, CAR T-Cell therapy has developed as a viable and effective line of treatment for patients with aggressive lymphomas.
Denvax CAR T-Cell Therapy
Denvax India Clinics works with oncologists who can assess whether a patient may be fit to receive this therapy. Here’s what a typical CAR T-Cell treatment looks like –
- A 20 ml blood sample is collected from the patient in a Cellnutetm bottle.
- T-cells from the sample are drawn and processed into CAR T-Cells in the lab in 20 days.
- These cells are then sent to the lab at Vasant Vihar, New Delhi where the patient is administered the dose under medical supervision.
- These CAR T- Cells are infused into the patient
- These CAR T-cells then bind to the cancer cells where they can then attack and destroy them.
We at Denvax take pride in our ability to administer CAR T-Cell Therapy in India and to make it available to any patient located even in the remotest parts of the country. Our team of technicians is available to administer this treatment from the comfort of a patient’s home. The patients are closely examined to ensure that they are not exhibiting any potential sign of a side effect.
Side Effects Of CAR T-Cell Therapy
As beneficial CAR T-Cell therapy may prove to be for various kinds of cancers, it can result in some side effects. Due to this, it becomes necessary that such a kind of therapy is administered under close supervision. Along with this, a patient should be closely monitored and examined if they are showing signs of some side effects. As CAR T cells multiply, this then leads to the immune system being ramped up. Some of the serious side effects of such a type of therapy include –
- Difficulty in breathing.
- High fever and chills.
- Feeling dizzy.
- Rapid heartbeat
In rare cases, a patient may also experience a serious side effect referred to as Cytokine-Release Syndrome (CRS). Cytokines are chemical messengers that aid the T cells in carrying out their operations. Cytokines are produced in the body when the CAR T-cells proliferate and kill cancer cells. The symptoms of this syndrome can be mild such as nausea, headache, chills, and fever. Along with this, a patient may also experience some serious symptoms. These can include low blood pressure, tachycardia (the medical term for an increased heart rate of over 100 beats a minute), and cardiac complications.
CAR T-cell therapy is a groundbreaking and highly personalized approach to cancer treatment that has rapidly gained recognition for its remarkable success in various cancer types, particularly blood cancers. It has revolutionized the way we combat cancer, offering individualized treatment by modifying a patient’s T-cells to target specific cancer antigens. Its impressive results, particularly in pediatric leukemia and aggressive lymphomas, have firmly established it as the gold standard of care. Denvax India Clinics has made this cutting-edge therapy more accessible across India. While it holds great promise, it is essential to acknowledge potential side effects and administer it under vigilant medical supervision. This revolutionary therapy represents the evolving face of cancer treatment, offering hope for patients and their families and a brighter future in the battle against cancer.