Arming the immune system - CAR-T therapy - CLL Support

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Arming the immune system - CAR-T therapy


Hope people find this interesting, I did. I'm not going to copy/paste a part, it is a reasonably easy read. rob


7 Replies

Thanks Rob!

This is the easiest read about CAR-T therapy I've seen, so I've modified your title so when people search for CAR-T they will find your post.

Some comments on the article:

1) Where it says, "But cancer cells are experts at hiding from the prying eyes of T-cell receptors. Researchers have identified a bewildering array of tricks and tactics they use to do this, from hiding their MHC molecules so that the T-cells cannot see what is going on, to producing other molecules that put the T-cells to sleep."

Our CLL cells put our T-cells to sleep

2) Where it says, "Patients can survive without B-cells, but they need lifelong drug treatment to compensate.", it's not a "drug", it's IVIG transfusion treatment. That's because with the CAR-T cells killing all B-lymphocytes, CLL clones and healthy cells, the patients have nothing left to mature into plasma cells - our body's antibody factories. One IVIG treatment comes from thousands of blood donations, so you get an immediate transfusion of antibodies made to identify all the pathogens that those thousands of blood donors B-cells have recognised, become plasma cells then churned out antibodies to label any pathogens for the immune system to destroy. Hence the work into kill switches mentioned in the article; once the CLL cells have been wiped out, turn off the CAR-T cells.

Perhaps in future, we'll be offered treatment with CAR-T cells which includes surgery to insert a device that continually monitors our blood and turns the CAR-T cells on when CLL cells reappear and off again when the CLL cells are gone.


Ernest2 in reply to AussieNeil

Any chance to pin all this post please.

I need to read it a few more times.

Many thanks,


AussieNeilAdministrator in reply to Ernest2

Hi Ernie,

If others Like your suggestion to pin this, we might consider doing so, but we'd have to delete one to do that. I suggest you either copy the article to your computer (I do that for interesting CLL info) or bookmark this post.


Thanks Rob. Very interesting reading in language that I can understand! Peggy 😀

Love the thought of the damaged cell holding out a piece for identification - seemed so human somehow!

(Yes, I know, it just tickled me!)


Given the high cost of current CAR-T therapy, due to the need to customise treatment for each patient to prevent our immune systems from attacking foreign T- lymphocytes, it's good that this hasn't deterred researchers from continuing with a technique which obviously shows a great deal of promise.

Here's another related article about the extension of CAR-T therapy: '...German scientists are now reporting an immunotherapy breakthrough that is significant in more ways than one. Led by Professor Ugur Sahin from Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, the team says it has worked out how to train immune calls in a way that is not only cheap and fast, but can be tuned to attack any type of cancer.

They begin with a snippet of the targeted cancer's genetic RNA code, which they encase in a fatty membrane. The scientists were able to give these particles, which they have dubbed RNA-LPX, a negative charge by fine-tuning the ratio of RNA to fatty membrane. Once injected into the bloodstream, this mild electrical charge guides the particles towards the body's dendritic immune cells, which are cells that specify targets for the immune system to attack.'

From the Gizmag article Trained immune cells raise prospect of universal cancer vaccine:

Reference Nature paper:



University of Pennsylvania researchers, backed by internet billionaire Sean Parker, won approval from the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee, (a federal ethics panel), to change the human genome using the CRISPR gene-altering tool in a CAR-T experiment. The trial still needs final approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:

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