Translational Research

Building Safer, More Effective CAR-T Cell Therapies for Cancer Patients

CAR-T Cell Therapies are Not Working Against Solid Cancers

Doctors divide cancer into two main types: solid tumor cancers and cancers in the blood. Solid cancer is an abnormal mass of tissue in a ‘solid’ organ such as the breast or prostate.

In CAR-T cell therapy—a next-generation of cancer care—a patient’s immune T cells (disease-fighting cells) are collected from the blood and then engineered to better recognize and target cancer cells. Once infused back into the patient, the powerful CAR-T cells can seek out cancer and mount a full-blown attack.

However, this new technology is currently only approved for several types of blood cancers. While there are numerous clinical trials testing different versions of CAR-T cell therapy against solid tumors, patients have not responded well, and the therapy is not approved for these types of cancer.

The solid tumors in the lung, breast, colon, pancreas, and prostate make up 33% of cancer deaths in Asia and 40% of all cancer deaths in the world. New life-saving therapies are needed.

The Tumor Microenvironment Surrounding Solid Tumors

Solid tumors build a Tumor Microenvironment or TME that surrounds the tumor and suppresses the immune system’s T cells and immune activity needed to attack and kill the cancer cells.

The TME is a powerful immunosuppressive weapon that works against all the body’s T cells, including CAR-T cells.

Different versions of CAR-T cells may also deliver ‘payloads’ to fight the TME to then allow CAR-T cells to destroy the tumor. But the payload is constantly delivered to the TME and even throughout the body – producing severe toxicities and limiting CAR-T cell’s power.

Successful cell therapies must find a solution to the TME and without toxicities.

Smart CAR-T Cells that Deliver Payloads Only to Tumors and Without Toxicity

The Asian Fund for Cancer Research Limited (AFCR) recognizes the enormous benefits CAR-T cell therapies could provide for patients with solid cancer. We are supporting an innovative platform of CAR-T cell therapies that can 1) defend against the assault of the TME and 2) eliminate the toxicity that also limits its effectiveness.

  • CAR-T cells are first engineered to recognize an abnormal protein on the lung, breast, colon, pancreatic, and prostate cancer – the lead CAR-T cell therapy that treat 5 solid cancers.
  • Engineering then makes them Smart CAR-T cells – that will deliver a ‘payload’ of proteins that target and weaken the TME.
  • These smart CAR-T cells can sense their surroundings and release the payload only when they interact with the tumor. The smart cells know ‘when and where’ to release the payload.
  • Smart CAR-T cells are dynamic and ‘know’ how much payload to release.
  • This ‘conditional’ delivery of the payload is different from other CAR-T cell therapies – which constantly release payload – causing toxicity.

You Can Bring Hope to Cancer Patients

CAR-T cell therapy is the next generation in cancer care to give patients hope that their lives can be saved. AFCR fights for more cancer patients to have the safest and the most effective treatments to fight their cancers.

With your support for AFCR, this smart CAR-T cell therapy may provide many cancer patients with a new, effective and safe treatment outcome.

Can we count on your support today? When you make a generous gift to AFCR, you are giving patients real HOPE where there was none.

Make a donation here.