Immunotherapy with T-cell receptor (TCR) gene therapy, and CAR T cell therapy
In T cell receptor (TCR) T cell therapy and Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy, the patient's own immune cells are modified in the pharmacy's BioTherapeutics Unit laboratories, in what we call "clean rooms". This ensures that there are no contaminants that could get to your cells. Processing the immune cells involves the insertion of a gene into the cells, which equips them with a new recognition structure (TCR or CAR) that will help the immune cells recognize cancer cells. After this genetic enhancement, the immune cells are multiplied. The patient will receive a short round of chemotherapy to prepare the body for the large amount of fortified immune cells that are administered through IV. Because they have been enhanced, the immune cells will be able to do something that they could not do before; they will be able to recognize and destroy the cancer cells.
TCR T cell therapy and CAR T cell therapy is currently only available as experimental therapy as part of clinical trials. At the NKI Cell Therapy Center, these types of cell therapy are available to patients with sarcoma, lung carcinoma, renal cell carcinoma, colon cancer, testicular or ovarian carcinoma.