CAR-T therapy is a potent new tool for several cancers, but its toxic side effects have put a damper on some of the enthusiasm around its use.
Scientists, however, are beginning to unravel why these dangerous toxicities crop up — and are proposing potential interventions that could make CAR-T therapy safer. Their work was published in two papers in Nature Medicine. While the research is based on rudimentary mouse models, it outlines the mechanisms that cause deadly side effects like cytokine release syndrome and neurotoxicity.
CAR-T therapy, short for chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy, works by engineering a patient’s own immune cells to attack their cancers. It’s been transformative in patients with otherwise terminal blood cancers.