publication date: Oct. 20, 2017

Conversation with the Cancer Letter

Rosenberg: Yescarta is going to be lifesaving for patients with lymphomas

Steven Rosenberg

Chief of the Surgery Branch, senior investigator, and head of the Tumor Immunology Section at NCI’s Center for Cancer Research

StevenRosenberg

 

When Eric Karlson’s lymphoma went into complete regression in 2009, Steven Rosenberg and James Kochenderfer knew they were making history—for the first time, they had cured a patient by using genetically modified cell therapy, specifically, anti-CD19 CAR-T cells.

Karlson, a marine-construction worker on Marco Island, FL, has been disease-free for almost nine years. Rosenberg is chief of the Surgery Branch, senior investigator, and head of the Tumor Immunology Section at NCI’s Center for Cancer Research, and Kochenderfer is an investigator in the Experimental Transplantation and Immunology Branch.

On Oct. 18, FDA approved Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) to treat adult patients with certain types of large B cell lymphoma who have not responded to or who have relapsed after at least two other kinds of treatment. The complete remission rate after treatment with Yescarta was 51 percent.

The therapy is the result of Kochenderfer and Rosenberg’s work on cell-based gene therapy in the intramural program at NCI.

“We had already been spending years developing these cell-based therapies for cancer treatment. Jim, being a hematologist, when he came into the lab, we ran this project together to target CD19 B cell malignancy,” Rosenberg said. … Continue reading Rosenberg: Yescarta is going to be lifesaving for patients with lymphomas

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