Car T Cell

CAR—chimeric antigen receptors—are genetically engineered protein constructs that can be incorporated into a patient’s own cytotoxic T cells to help them to recognize and fight cancer cells.

This protein construct combines DNA from several genes to create a new T cell receptor that binds to antigens found on tumor cells and activates the T cell in response to that binding.

CAR T cell therapy is provided by removing or harvesting T cells from a patient with cancer, transfecting the cells with CAR genes that are directed against the patient’s tumor type, expanding the modified T cell population, and reinfusing the cells back into the patient. CAR T cells are still an investigational therapy, but results from early-stage clinical studies have been encouraging.

Amgen is collaborating with Kite Pharma to develop novel Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cell immunotherapies based on Kite’s engineered autologous cell therapy (eACT™) platform and Amgen’s extensive array of cancer targets. The CARs engineered by Kite Pharma include an antibody derived target binding domain, a co-stimulatory domain, and an essential activating domain. The first domain aims to make the T cell highly selective for cancer cells. The latter domains are responsible for activating the T cell upon binding to the target cell, resulting in the proliferation of the CAR T cells and the direct killing of the cancer cell. (Illustration adapted from Kite Pharma.)

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