Cellectis researchers have managed to come up with a new CAR architecture with a small-molecule triggered ‘on-switch’, permitting better control and safety in CAR T-cell therapy, as published in Nature.
As we discussed during our interview with Andre Choulika, CEO of Cellectis, last month, one major drawback to CAR-T treatment for cancer is the lack of control one can have in how the CAR-T cells are deployed, taken up and act on cancerous cells.
Simply put, there’s a lot of fine-tweaking and R&D to be done before CAR-T can truly be considered ‘the miracle cure for cancer‘. Choulika also described how engineering CAR’s is also designed to enhance drug potency, the doses of which are limited in the number of cells they can target.
Therefore, a CAR-T treatment is designed to work as a drug-conjugate treatment, as CAR’s also have a limited ‘life-span’ within the body, and have to work as efficiently as possible.
The possibility to spatially and temporally control CAR-T activity is very desirable to reduce the risk of unwanted (and often dangerous) side effects,