Advances in Immunotherapy: Tackling CAR T-cell Therapy Resistance

In a study published in the AACR’s journal Cancer Discovery in December, a team of researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia identified mechanisms by which some children’s B-cell leukemias develop resistance to CD19 CAR T-cell therapy, an investigational immunotherapy that yields long-lasting remissions in many patients with this disease.

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Overcoming Drug Resistance: The EGFR Enigma

Currently, anti-EGFR therapies are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, pancreatic cancer, and colorectal cancer. Most patients receiving anti-EGFR therapies benefit from the treatment, but the challenge they face, as do patients receiving most other targeted therapies, is that their tumors ultimately develop drug resistance. So efforts are underway to develop newer anti-EGFR therapies that can circumvent resistance to existing EGFR inhibitors.

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The Curious Case of the Exceptional Responder

The structure of a section of DNA

For decades, experimental cancer drugs that did not provide measurable benefit to a significant number of patients in a clinical trial were considered “failed,” and further efforts to develop the drug for that use were shelved. The few patients who responded to such drugs were thought to have experienced a “miracle.”

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