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Optimizing effectiveness of CAR T cell therapy in lymphoma highlighted in special nordic issue

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, which can specifically recognize and target tumor cells, have resulted in complete responses in patients with leukemia, and although equally promising for treating , obstacles remain and individual patient responses have varied. The main barriers to overcome in developing the next generation of are presented in a Review article that is part of a special Nordic issue of , a peer-reviewed journal from , , publishers. The article is available free on the Human Gene Therapy website until September 30, 2015.

In “CAR T Cell Therapy – The Role of Physical Barriers and Immunosuppression in Lymphoma”, coauthors Gunilla Enblad, Hannah Karlsson, and Angelica Loskog, , Sweden, describe a study in which they are evaluating factors related to tumor biology and immunology compared to treatment response in patients with lymphoma participating in a clinical trial of third-generation CAR T cells. The authors explore topics such as CAR T cell design, physical barriers that prevent the cells from infiltrating into tumors, inhibitory substances released by tumors that directly interfere with T cell growth and activity, and the importance of preconditioning therapy for patients receiving treatment with CAR T cells.

Leading the special Nordic issue of Human Gene Therapy is Guest Editor Johanna Laakkonen, PhD, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, with Co-Guest Editors Hanna Lesch, FKD Therapies, Kuopio, Finland, and C.I. Edvard Smith, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, Sweden.

“CAR T cell technology is revolutionizing immunotherapy for cancer. This new original work defines important barriers to fully realizing its potential in patients with lymphoma,” says Editor-in-Chief Terence R. Flotte, MD, Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor of Medical Education and Dean, Provost, and Executive Deputy Chancellor, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA.