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BSH 2018 | The future of CAR T-cell therapy

Stephen Robinson, MBBS, MRCP, MRCPath, PhD, of University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, Bristol, UK, describes his role in a debate at the British Society for Haematology (BSH) 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting, Liverpool, UK, discussing whether CAR T-cells would become the standard of care for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) in 5 years’ time. Dr Robinson notes that although CAR T-cells are one of the most exciting and progressive technologies of our generation, limitations still exist. He notes how prior to these therapies being readily implemented into clinical practice, it is important that we regularly follow-up patients to sufficiently evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment. Moreover, the toxicity of CAR T-cell therapy is of note, as well as the expense – it is likely to be inaccessible to many healthcare systems. Dr Robinson holds promise that in the future we will be able to avoid these limitations: reducing toxicity through prophylactic tocilizumab, a reduction of price arising from an increased number of competitors synthesizing CAR T-cells, and an increase in their effectiveness as our underlying understanding of immunotherapy and cancer biology improves.

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