US trial of 'off-the-shelf' CAR T-cell therapy

US company gets the go-ahead to start a trial of 'off-the-shelf' CAR T-cell therapy for people with lymphoma.

Diagram showing a T cell with a chimeric antigen receptor, with the activation signal meeting the stimulation signal attached to the antigen receptor

The Food and Drug Administration (the organisation that approves new drugs and drug trials in the US) has given the go-ahead for a trial of an ‘off-the-shelf’ CAR-T cell therapy for people with lymphoma.


Current CAR-T cell therapies use T cells from the person who is going to have the therapy. These cells are collected, processed, genetically modified in a lab to recognise lymphoma cells, grown, and then given back to the person having treatment. This process can take a few weeks.


The new therapy will use CAR T cells made from donor T cells. This is called ‘allogeneic’ CAR T-cell therapy. Because the process uses donor cells, they can be collected and processed in advance, reducing the manufacturing time involved in CAR T-cell therapy. It might also be possible to use them in people who do not have enough of their own, healthy T cells to be collected.


The study is an early (phase 1) trial. It will be carried out in the US in 24 people with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) or follicular lymphoma that has come back (relapsed) or has not responded (refractory) after previous treatment.


To find out more about clinical trials for lymphoma, or to search for a trial that might be suitable for you visit Lymphoma TrialsLink.

17 December 2020