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Scientists probe causes of declining success rate of CAR-T cell therapy among non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients

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While conducting the study, the researchers generated single-cell RNA and protein sequencing data for CAR-T cells before they were administered to patients and again at multiple points after being infused in patients.

In a recently published study conducted by the researchers from Mayo Clinic Cancer Centre in Florida and Case Western, Cleveland Medical Center found that the success rate of chimeric antigen receptor-T cell therapy (CAR-T cell therapy) for patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma may be decreasing. The scientists examined the possible reasons for decreasing remission rates for patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma when treated with CAR-T cell therapy. The findings of the study were published in the Cancer Discovery journal.

“CAR-T cell therapy is a promising treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, especially for patients who have relapsed or those who have not responded to prior therapies,” Tae Hyun Hwang, Ph.D., a researcher at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in Jacksonville, Florida said.

Dr. Hwang also said that recent long-term follow-up data have suggested that the success rate of CAR-T cell therapy for patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma may be decreasing.

“Lasting remission in this setting ranges from 30 percent to 40 percent, so it is critical to identify a predictive biomarker to measure CAR-T cell resistance so we can better match patients with effective therapy,” Dr. Hwang said.

Meanwhile, the study co-author David Wald, M.D., Ph.D., of Case Western, Cleveland Medical Center, informed that the overall goal of our research is to support precision oncology care. “Novel therapeutic strategies will help us improve the efficacy of CAR-T cell therapy for patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma,” he added.

While conducting the study, the researchers generated single-cell RNA and protein sequencing data for CAR-T cells before they were administered to patients and again at multiple points after being infused in patients. The team of scientists claimed that with the help of this study they have generated more than 133,000 single-cell expression profiles. They used this data to develop and apply computational approaches to dissect single-cell level RNA or protein expression patterns of CAR-T cells associated with treatment response.

“If our findings can be validated in prospective clinical trials, our TIGIT blocking strategy with CAR-T cell therapy may improve current CAR-T cell therapy responses in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and may also improve patient survival,” Dr. Hwang said.

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