On October 26-27th, 2017 the XIV Conference “Malignant lymphomas” was held in Moscow. There the specialists from the Institute of Нaematology of the Almazov National Medical Research Centre presented the results of the pre-clinical trials of the first Russian вкгп for cell anti-tumour therapy. For the first time in Russia, the CAR-T cells that have real therapeutic potential were obtained.
CAR-T cells are a patient's own immune effector cells (T cells) modified in the laboratory. As a result of genetic modification, these cells can produce factitious protein – so-called chimeric antigen receptor (CAR). Cells can recognize and attack cancer cells. This method of treatment shows a very good anti-tumor effect and can even lead to the full recovery from cancer. CAR-T cells can be preserved in a body for more than a year providing strong anti-tumor immunity and preventing relapse.
The presentation entitled Anti-CD19 CAR-T: experience of obtaining and first testing was awarded the III place diploma. It showed the ability of CAR-T cells to destroy CD19-positive cells, share and release biologically active agents (IL-2, TNF, IFNy) in vitro. At present, the work on this technology is going on in the Almazov Centre focusing on obtaining universal allogenic CAR-T cells. The mechanisms of solid tumor resistance to CAR-T therapy is under investigation.
In addition, currently the biggest experience of using CAR-T cells against cancer has been accumulated in patients with blood cancers. In 2017 in the USA, for the first time two drugs were approved: for treatment of CD19-positive lymphoblastic leucosis and B-cell large cell lymphoma.