Dr. Brentjens Discusses Toxicities Associated With CAR T-Cell Therapy

Renier Brentjens, MD, PhD
Published: Monday, Feb 05, 2018



Renier Brentjens, MD, PhD, associate professor, chief, Cellular Therapeutics Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the toxicities associated with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy.

Toxicities experienced by patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) who undergo CAR T-cell therapy include fever, mental status changes, and low blood pressure. Although these toxicities are almost universally reversible, these patients required care in the intensive care unit (ICU), Brentjens says. Patients who experienced cytokine release syndrome (CRS) required a longer stay in the ICU.

These toxicities were combated by lowering the dose, and researchers began investigating the etiology of CRS. Brentjens says that he acknowledges the immense immune response to CAR T-cell therapy, but ways in which to make it safer for patients is an important facet to treatment. There must be continued, well-focused clinical trials that not only look at antitumor outcomes, but collect samples to better understand CRS and develop ways to treat it, Brentjens adds.

With continued research into outcomes regarding toxicities, one day, CAR T-cell therapy may even be an outpatient treatment, Brentjens suggests.


Renier Brentjens, MD, PhD, associate professor, chief, Cellular Therapeutics Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the toxicities associated with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy.

Toxicities experienced by patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) who undergo CAR T-cell therapy include fever, mental status changes, and low blood pressure. Although these toxicities are almost universally reversible, these patients required care in the intensive care unit (ICU), Brentjens says. Patients who experienced cytokine release syndrome (CRS) required a longer stay in the ICU.

These toxicities were combated by lowering the dose, and researchers began investigating the etiology of CRS. Brentjens says that he acknowledges the immense immune response to CAR T-cell therapy, but ways in which to make it safer for patients is an important facet to treatment. There must be continued, well-focused clinical trials that not only look at antitumor outcomes, but collect samples to better understand CRS and develop ways to treat it, Brentjens adds.

With continued research into outcomes regarding toxicities, one day, CAR T-cell therapy may even be an outpatient treatment, Brentjens suggests.



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