A first-in-human trial combining a chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy with an mRNA vaccine (CARVac) showed that the combination, called BTN211, had an acceptable safety profile. Furthermore, the CAR-T therapy showed early signs of efficacy both as a monotherapy and in combination with CARVac in patients with testicular and other carcinoembryonic antigen claudin-6 (CLDN6)-positive solid tumors. The phase I trial found more robust engraftment in patients who received the combination treatment than CAR-T cells only. “CARVac supports CAR-T engraftment, mediates the physiology of graft expansion, and upregulates survival pathways,” said John Haanen, MD, PhD, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, Netherlands. “Some patients showed long-term CAR-T persistence more than 150 days after infusion, and patients with initial partial responses showed further deepening of responses over time.” Dr. Haanen was one of four researchers to present findings during the plenary session Clinical Trials of Cellular Immunotherapies on Sunday, April 10, during the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting, April 8-13 in New Orleans. The session can be viewed on the virtual platform by registered meeting participants through July 13, 2022. Registration can be done here. Over 19,000 scientists and physicians are registered for this premier cancer conference, with ~80% (~15,200) attending in person and ~20% (~3,800) attending virtually. The AACR has over 50,000 members worldwide.
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