Experimental CAR NK-Cell Therapy Produces Results in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and Non-Hodgkin Lymphona

According to a story from Targeted Oncology, a recent phase 1/2a clinical trial of an experimental treatment called TAK-007 produced a clinical response in the majority of patients in the study. The trial was testing TAK-007 as a treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). TAK-007 is classified as a CAR NK-cell therapy, making it the first in its class.

About Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a group of blood cancers that, in some cases, can grow rapidly. This cancer affects a type of white blood cell called a lymphocyte.Symptoms may include itching, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, fever, weight loss, and night sweats. Treatment often includes chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, and, less commonly, immunotherapy. The five year survival rate for these cancers is around 71 percent in the US. To learn more about non-Hodgkin lymphoma, click here.

About Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is a form of blood cancer which affects lymphocytes, which are a type of white blood cell. Symptoms of chronic lymphocytic leukemia include fever, anemia, swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, and fatigue. Treatment for this disease focuses mostly on controlling symptoms, and there is no cure. These treatments may include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery, bone marrow transplant, or biological therapy. As a slow growing cancer, the five year survival rate is 83 percent. To learn more about chronic lymphocytic leukemia, click here.

Study Findings

The study included 11 patients and at a median follow up of 13.8 months, 73 percent of patients had responded to treatment with TAK-007. 7 Patients had complete responses. The response time was also remarkably fast, occurring within a month of the treatment administration.

TAK-007 is related to CAR T-cell therapies, which are one of the latest developments in the treatment of certain blood malignancies. However, TAK-007 uses “Natural Killer” (NK) cells instead of T-cells. T-cell therapies can be very effective but there is great concern surrounding the risk of adverse effects due to over-activation of the immune system. However, none of the severe complications, such as cytokine release syndrome, occurred in this small scale trial. This could indicate that CAR NK-cell therapies could be a safer alternative.

Check out the original study here.

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