Ori Biotech Industry News: NCI Advancing Cell Therapy

Cell therapy to fight cancer

Over the past decade, cell therapy has been established as a viable cancer treatment strategy.
To date, there are 36 NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers with cell therapy programs and the FDA has approved 6 cell therapies for the treatment of blood cancers.

The development of cell therapies for solid tumors has been notoriously difficult, however recent research findings are showing promising results.

With solid tumors comprizing 90% of all cancer diagnoses, there is an urgency to overcome the technical and manufacturing challenges that stand in the way of scalable production.

Types of cell therapies

There are different types of cell therapy approaches, each with their own benefits and challenges. Continued investments will help to optimize approaches, learn which tools work best for each cancer type, and potentially add more cell types to the cell therapy toolbox.

  • Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells
  • Engineered T-cell receptor cells
  • Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs)
  • Natural killer (NK) cells

Investments in manufacturing infrastructure are needed to streamline cell construction technologies, develop standardized cell handling procedures, and establish cell therapy as a viable treatment option for many cancer types to enable widespread patient access.

The NCI has recently developed the Cancer Adoptive Cellular Therapy Network (Can-ACT) to fill a gap in the research community.

The Can-ACT network of research sites will advance collaborative and novel approaches for adoptive cell therapy for solid tumors, by providing support for early-stage clinical testing
of novel cell therapies for solid tumors in adults and children.

NCI full article: Cell Therapy: Harnessing Cells of the Immune System to Fight Cancer