The therapy I’m referring to is called CAR T cell therapy.
The medicines authority approved it, the FDA in 2017 and 2018, by the European Medicines Agency EMA.
Lymphomas are neoplasms of the immune system.
The most frequent are so-called non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, most of which are derived from cells called B cells. These are the cells that, in a normal situation, produce the antibodies that defend us from viruses and bacteria, and that circulate undisturbed in the blood, stopping in the marrow, spleen, and lymph nodes as needed by the body.
Lymph nodes are generally the first to be affected when these cells grow uncontrolled, producing a neoplastic process, and typically, the patient arrives with lymphoma comes to the doctor’s attention because he notices an enlarged lymph node.
The only biopsy can confirm the diagnosis and distinguish between the more than 50 histological types.
The chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CAR T cells) are cells of the immune system (T cells, which defend us from infections.
The cells are taken from the patient’s blood, modified in the laboratory, and then reinserted through a small venous catheter, hoping that they find cancer cells and, by activating and multiplying, destroy them.
This type of immunotherapy will undoubtedly revolutionize the way we treat cancer in the future.
Even if 70-80% of patients respond to the therapy, i.e., the lymph nodes begin to fade, the symptoms to soften, the mood to improve, unfortunately, only 45-50% have a prolonged response that continues for at least one year.