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Hematology AdvisorNew CAR-T Therapy May Pave Way for Universal Targeting of Blood Cancers

Novel CRISPR-Engineered CD45-Targeting CAR T-Cells Show Promise

A study in Science Translational Medicine has unveiled the potential of CD45-targeting chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells as a universal treatment for various blood cancers. This innovative approach aims to overcome the limitations and risks associated with current CAR-T therapies.

HCN Medical Memo
The development of CD45-targeting CAR T-cells represents a monumental shift in the landscape of blood cancer treatment. This innovation not only promises to streamline the development process but also to extend the range of treatable conditions, potentially revolutionizing how we approach hematopoietic malignancies.

Key Points
  • Researchers used CRISPR base editing to modify a CD45 epitope, making it unrecognizable to the anti-CD45 CAR-T therapy but still effective against CD45-expressing cancer cells.
  • The modified CD45 CAR T-cells were found to be resistant to fratricide and effective against patient-derived acute myeloid leukemia, B-cell lymphoma, and acute T-cell leukemia cells.
  • The study suggests that this new approach could potentially treat all hematopoietic malignancies by completely replacing a patient’s hematopoietic system.
  • Healthcare professionals see this as a significant advancement, noting that the gene-engineering strategy of “epitope editing” could revolutionize targeted immunotherapies.

Approximately 1.3 million new cases of blood cancer are diagnosed worldwide each year.

Additional Points
  • Current CAR-T therapies are individually designed for specific diseases, making them cumbersome to develop and limited in their applicability.
  • The risks of fratricide and pancytopenia have previously hindered the development of CD45-targeting CAR T-cells.

More on Blood Cancers

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