This therapy is currently in clinical trials for all types of NHL. Typical eligibility criteria is progression on chemotherapy and immunotherapy. The CAR T-cell therapy would then be provided as either a 3rd or a 4th-line treatment option.
However, as time goes on researchers are also hopeful that this therapy could be used earlier on. For instance they believe it could be advantageous to be used earlier in high-risk DLBCL patients.
But first, comparative trials are needed which investigate this therapy to the current standard therapy for each and every sub-form. Toxicities, outcomes, responses, and more, must be determined to be superior to the standard of care therapy. Further, long term outcomes need to be investigated further. Just because a therapy seems to work at the beginning, doesn’t mean that those effects will be long-lasting.
As our knowledge of this therapy increases, we also may be able to change its design. By altering the mode of the treatment we may be able to increase tolerability and decrease toxicity for different subsets of patients. Further, understanding how it impacts patients when combined with other treatments is important. Different combinations may work better for different patients, at different times of their disease journey.
At the end of the day we have to remember that each and every patient is different and has different needs. But this new therapy is promising for many forms of rare cancers, and the research in this area is exciting.
You can read more about these updates in CAR T-cell therapy here.