Foundation for CAR T-cell therapy Yescarta

2010

Challenge

Building on their understanding of harnessing the immune system to fight cancer, IRP scientists have sought ways to use genetically altered immune cells called chimeric antigen receptor-expressing T cells (CAR T cells) as an effective form of immunotherapy.

Advance

A breakthrough clinical trial led by IRP researchers Steven Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D., and James Kochenderfer, M.D., showed that CAR T cells that recognize the CD19 receptor protein found on specific immune cells called B cells were useful in the treatment of some types of B-cell malignancies.

Impact

This team’s research paved the way for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the first-of-its-kind CAR T-cell therapy – Yescarta – which is now being used to treat adult patients with relapsed or treatment-resistant large B-cell lymphoma, the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma among adults.

Publications

Kochenderfer JN, Wilson WH, Janik JE, Dudley ME, Stetler-Stevenson M, Feldman SA, Maric I, Raffeld M, Nathan DA, Lanier BJ, Morgan RA, Rosenberg SA. Eradication of B-lineage cells and regression of lymphoma in a patient treated with autologous T cells genetically engineered to recognize CD19. (2010). Blood. 116(20):4099-102.