It is a type of treatment in which a patient's T cells (a type of immune system cell) are changed in the laboratory so that they will attack cancer cells. T cells are taken from a patient’s blood.
CAR T-cell therapy. A type of treatment in which a patient’s T cells (a type of immune cell) are changed in the laboratory so they will bind to cancer cells and kill them. Blood from a vein in the patient’s arm flows through a tube to an apheresis machine (not shown), which removes the white blood cells, including the T cells, and sends the rest of the blood back to the patient. Then, the gene for a special receptor called a CHIMERIC ANTIGEN RECEPTOR (CAR) is inserted into the T cells in the laboratory. Millions of the CAR T cells are grown in the laboratory and then given to the patient by infusion. The CAR T cells are able to bind to an antigen on the cancer cells and kill them.
T-cell therapies are even more specific than targeted agents and directly
stimulate the patient's immune system to fight cancer, leading to greater
why they're referred to as "living drugs."
difficulty of preparing CAR T-cell therapies has been a major hindrance to
their widespread use.
first successful clinical trial was published a decade ago, and the first
indigenously developed therapy in India was performed in 2021.
certain kinds of leukaemias and lymphomas, the efficacy is as high as 90%,
whereas in other types of cancers it is significantly lower.
potential side-effects are also significant, associated with cytokine release
syndrome (a widespread activation of the immune system and collateral damage to
the body’s normal cells) and neurological symptoms (severe confusion, seizures,
and speech impairment).
of CAR T-cell therapy in India can face challenges of cost and value.
argue that developing CAR T-cell therapy in India may not be cost-effective as
it will still be unaffordable for most people.
Development in India:
an indigenously developed therapy for B-cell cancers, has been
collaboratively developed by ImmunoACT, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
(IIT-B), and Tata Memorial Hospital.
commercial use of this therapy to treat certain blood cancers was approved by
the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) in
is the first CAR-T cell therapy to get CDSCO approval.
Monocytes: help to break
Lymphocytes: They create antibodies to fight against bacteria,
viruses, and other harmful invaders.
Neutrophils: They kill and digest bacteria and
fungi. They are the most numerous types of white blood cell and
your first line of defense when infection strikes.
Basophils: These cells
seem to sound an alarm when infectious agents invade your blood. They
secrete chemicals such as histamine, a marker of
allergic disease, that help control the body's immune response.
Eosinophils: They attack
and kill parasites and cancer cells and help with allergic
- They are made in the bone marrow and found in the blood and lymph tissue.
- The immune system is a complex network of cells known as immune cells that include lymphocytes.
- Lymphocytes include natural killer cells, T cells, and B cells.
- The B-lymphocytes release an army of proteins into our blood in response to pathogens.
- These proteins are called Antibodies (a blood protein produced in response to & counteracting an antigen).
- The T-cells themselves do not secrete antibodies but help B cells produce them.
- Because these antibodies are found in the blood, the response is also called as humoral immune response.
- The second type is called cell-mediated immune response or cell mediated immunity (CMI).
What are the Indian Government’s Initiatives Related to Cancer?
- National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke
- National Cancer Grid
- Encouraging Cervical Cancer Vaccination for girls (9-14 years) (Interim Budget 2024-25)