In This Video
- Bob Carter, MD, PhD, is the chief of Neurosurgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and the William and Elizabeth Sweet professor of neurosurgery at Harvard Medical School
- Here, he discusses his research concentrated on developing CAR T-cells directed to a specific tumor antigen, called the EGFRvIII protein, that occurs in brain tumors
- He anticipates that this new immunotherapy developed in the labs of Mass General will be offered to patients with brain tumors within the next several years
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To date, no CAR T-cell therapy has been approved for brain cancer by the FDA. But, Bob Carter, MD, PhD, chief of Neurosurgery Service at Massachusetts General Hospital, believes CAR T-cell therapy holds promise as a treatment for solid tumors in the brain.
For over 20 years, Dr. Carter has been developing a CAR T-cell therapy that is directed to a specific tumor antigen, called the EGFR vIII protein, that occurs in brain tumors. Now, that CAR T-therapy is being implemented in clinical trials.
Dr. Carter anticipates that over the next several years, as his team continues to refine this therapy, that they will be able to offer this new immunotherapy developed in the labs of Mass General to patients with brain tumors.
Our Neuro-Oncology Brain Tumor Center has the goal of providing the most advanced therapy to patients. Some of those therapies are in development, and one of these therapies, which I think is particularly exciting is that of CAR T-cells. CAR T therapy is an active therapy under design whereby we take a patient's own T-cells and reengineer them with a new specificity towards a specific tumor antigen.
CAR T-cells were something that we first worked on here almost 20 years ago, developing a CAR T-cell that was specifically directed to a specific tumor antigen that occurs in brain tumors. This was called the EGFR vIII protein, and we published on that, and we're very gratified to now see that particular CAR T therapy start to be implemented in clinical trials.
The confluence of genetic sequencing and our increased understanding of the genetics of brain tumors, as well as new ways that we can manipulate the genome and develop experimental gene transfer entity cells, has allowed this therapy to come to life.
The most prominent early examples have been the successes that have occurred in the leukemias, but we feel that there's also value of this therapy for solid tumors in the brain. We have an active research program that's involved in developing this therapy.
Currently, no CAR T-cell therapy is approved for brain cancer by the FDA, but we anticipate that over the next several years, as we continue to refine this therapy, building on the evident successes in the leukemias that we will be able to offer this as a new immunotherapy for patients with brain tumors. That's part of being a brain tumor center where we bring cutting edge therapies that are not quite ready for active use, but are in development in our laboratories here at the Mass General.
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