How to develop the next generation of CAR T-cell therapies

CAR T cells have shown incredible promise in the clinic, but there is still room for advancement. One avenue for improvement is through modification of the CAR design. However, given the number of exchangeable domains, testing all variations can present a hurdle. In this article, Dr Sarwish Rafiq, Assistant Professor in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Emory University School of Medicine, explores why robust and real-time methods for assessing immune-cell potency, such as impedance monitoring with assays, can provide researchers with a pathway to develop more effective CAR T cells.

In 2017, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, forever changing the field of oncology. Since then, the FDA has approved five more CAR T-cell therapies for a range of blood cancers. Today, scientists continue to learn about the lifesaving potential of CAR T cells and seek new solutions to the unique development challenges associated with bringing this generation of therapies to the clinic.