Research ArticleImmunotherapy

Chimeric antigen receptor T cells persist and induce sustained remissions in relapsed refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia

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Science Translational Medicine  02 Sep 2015:
Vol. 7, Issue 303, pp. 303ra139
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aac5415

CAR T cells for the long haul

Immunotherapy is one of the most promising avenues of cancer therapy, with the potential to induce sustained remissions in patients with refractory disease. Studies with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)–modified T cells have paved the way in patients with relapsed and refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Porter et al. now report the mature results from their initial CAR T cell trial. CAR T cell persistence correlated with clinical responses, and these cells were functional up to 4 years after treatment. No patient who achieved complete remission relapsed, and no minimal residual disease was detected, suggesting that in a subset of patients, CAR T cells may drive disease eradication.