In DepthBiomedicine

New cancer-fighting cells enter trials

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Science  14 Sep 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6407, pp. 1056-1057
DOI: 10.1126/science.361.6407.1056

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Summary

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells are one of the most promising new cancer therapies, but they don't work against all cancers and can cause serious side effects. Researchers are now outfitting other types of immune cells with CARs, such as natural killer (NK) cells and macrophages, and evaluating their abilities to fight cancer. CAR NK cells could be faster to produce, cheaper, and safer than CAR T cells. Unlike CAR T cells, which are customized for each patient, CAR NK cells could be off-the-shelf treatments. Several clinical trials are testing CAR NK cells against solid tumors and some types of blood cancers. Researchers are still developing CAR macrophages and don't plan to start the first clinical trials until next year.