Dr. Shadman on Challenges With CAR T-Cell Therapy

Mazyar Shadman, MD, MPH
Published: Friday, Jun 28, 2019



Mazyar Shadman, MD, MPH, assistant member, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, assistant professor, Medical Oncology Division, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, and attending physician, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, discusses challenges with CAR T-cell therapy.

As with any other therapy, safety is always a priority, says Shadman; it does not matter if the therapy is effective if it is not safe. However, progress has been made in ensuring that the CAR T-cell products that are brought to market have manageable toxicities. Physicians are learning more about how to manage associated toxicities and how to decrease a patient’s risk of these toxicities, namely cytokine release syndrome and neurotoxicity.

From a practical standpoint, it is becoming a crowded space to bring new CAR T-cell products or combinations to, says Shadman. Having an FDA-approved CAR T-cell therapy is great, but it also makes it more challenging to bring a more effective product to market, he explains. It is a good problem to have, but it will slow down enrollment on clinical trials and research in terms of sequencing strategies because patients will be less likely to progress. Despite this, Shadman is confident that investigators will be able to overcome such challenges with the volume of research that is being done.
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Mazyar Shadman, MD, MPH, assistant member, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, assistant professor, Medical Oncology Division, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, and attending physician, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, discusses challenges with CAR T-cell therapy.

As with any other therapy, safety is always a priority, says Shadman; it does not matter if the therapy is effective if it is not safe. However, progress has been made in ensuring that the CAR T-cell products that are brought to market have manageable toxicities. Physicians are learning more about how to manage associated toxicities and how to decrease a patient’s risk of these toxicities, namely cytokine release syndrome and neurotoxicity.

From a practical standpoint, it is becoming a crowded space to bring new CAR T-cell products or combinations to, says Shadman. Having an FDA-approved CAR T-cell therapy is great, but it also makes it more challenging to bring a more effective product to market, he explains. It is a good problem to have, but it will slow down enrollment on clinical trials and research in terms of sequencing strategies because patients will be less likely to progress. Despite this, Shadman is confident that investigators will be able to overcome such challenges with the volume of research that is being done.



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