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EBMT-EHA CAR-T 2019 | CAR T-cell therapy’s rapid entrance

Antonio Pagliuca, MBBS King’s College NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK, discusses the rapid speed in which CAR T-cell therapy has entered the clinic, the significant toxicities and the regulation required in the rolling out of the therapy. Dr Pagliuca speaks at the 1st European CAR T-Cell Meeting, held in Paris, France, co-organized by the European Society for Blood & Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) and the European Hematology Association (EHA).

Transcript (edited for clarity)

So CAR T-cell therapy is a new disruptive technology. I mean, we’ve gone from very early phase one, two, trials, to rapid approval by both the FDA and EMA. But what we’re acutely aware of is that as much as these are incredible products that create long-term remissions at the moment, we hope that will be equivalent to cure in time, but there is significant toxicities. Now some of these toxicities we’re well used to in managing bone marrow transplants, how you chamber marrow transplants. Some of them are unusual and new. There have been a number of new classifications to try and help us define these toxicities and also how to manage these toxicities so that patients can safely receive the product and then hopefully get a remission and can be cured.

But whilst we’re doing that process, I think it’s important that we, if I can use a U.K. term, regulate the number of centers to start with. Once we get the phase one centers sorted and delivering products safely, we can then open up and develop additional centers in the U.K. so that patients can have the treatment even more locally to their home than currently we have in 2019.