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Remarkable Cancer Breakthrough Shows Woman’s Brain Tumor Nearly Vanishes in Just Five Days

In a remarkable breakthrough in cancer treatment, researchers from Mass General Cancer Center, in collaboration with neurosurgeons from the same institution, have developed a pioneering CAR-T therapy variant named CARv3-TEAM-E T cells. This new therapy has shown astonishing results in a clinical trial involving three patients with recurrent glioblastoma, a particularly deadly form of brain cancer.

Understanding Glioblastoma

Glioblastoma is an aggressive type of cancer that begins in the cells of the brain or spinal cord. It is known for its rapid growth and its ability to invade and destroy healthy brain tissue. The prognosis for this cancer is generally poor, making the recent findings all the more significant.

The Clinical Trial

Clinical Trial

The phase one clinical trial, conducted between March and July 2023, involved three patients: a 57-year-old woman and two men aged 72 and 74. These patients were selected due to their recurring cases of glioblastoma, each having faced bleak outlooks.

Innovations in Treatment: CARv3-TEAM-E T Cells

The treatment utilized in the trial, CARv3-TEAM-E T cells, represents an innovative approach to CAR-T therapy. Traditional CAR-T therapy, which has been effective in treating blood cancers, involves reengineering a patient’s T cells to target cancer more effectively. However, applying this method to solid tumors like glioblastoma has been challenging due to the heterogeneity of the tumor cells.

To enhance the efficacy of CAR-T therapy in solid tumors, researchers combined it with T-cell engaging antibody molecules (TEAMs). These modified CAR T cells are engineered to target both the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) variant III and the wild-type EGFR protein. This dual targeting is crucial for attacking the mixed cell populations within glioblastoma tumors.

Dramatic Results

The trial’s results were nothing short of spectacular. MRI scans conducted after the treatments showed dramatic reductions in tumor size:

Remarkable Cancer Breakthrough Shows Woman's Brain Tumor Nearly Vanishes in Just Five Days
  • The 57-year-old woman exhibited near-complete tumor regression just five days after a single infusion of the therapy.
  • The 72-year-old man showed an 18.5% reduction in tumor size two days after treatment, which increased to a 60.7% reduction by day 69.
  • The 74-year-old man experienced a significant decrease in EGFRvIII and EGFR protein levels, eventually becoming undetectable in his blood and cerebrospinal fluid.
The results are pretty astounding. (Mass general Brigham)

Patient Response and Safety

All three patients tolerated the treatment well, though they experienced some expected side effects such as fevers and altered mental states shortly after infusion. These effects were considered manageable, falling within grade three or dose-limiting toxic effects, which are within acceptable limits for such groundbreaking treatments.

Expert Reactions

brain tumor ct scan

Neurosurgeon Bryan Choi, a key figure in the development of this therapy, emphasized the potential of the CAR-T platform to treat solid tumors effectively by combining multiple therapeutic strategies. Marcela Maus, another lead researcher, remarked on the promising nature of these results, viewing them as a significant step toward developing a cure for glioblastoma.

Future Implications

The success of this trial marks a pivotal moment in the treatment of glioblastoma and possibly other solid tumors. The results, recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine, are a beacon of hope for patients suffering from this formidable cancer. While the journey towards a cure continues, the progress made by the Mass General team is a testament to the potential of innovative cancer therapies to significantly alter the course of previously untreatable diseases.

  • Health, Tech

    Remarkable Cancer Breakthrough Shows Woman’s Brain Tumor Nearly Vanishes in Just Five Days

    In a remarkable breakthrough in cancer treatment, researchers from Mass General Cancer Center, in collaboration with neurosurgeons from the same institution, have developed a pioneering CAR-T therapy variant named CARv3-TEAM-E T cells. This new therapy has shown astonishing results in a clinical trial involving three patients with recurrent glioblastoma, a particularly deadly form of brain cancer.

    Understanding Glioblastoma

    Glioblastoma is an aggressive type of cancer that begins in the cells of the brain or spinal cord. It is known for its rapid growth and its ability to invade and destroy healthy brain tissue. The prognosis for this cancer is generally poor, making the recent findings all the more significant.

    The Clinical Trial

    Clinical Trial

    The phase one clinical trial, conducted between March and July 2023, involved three patients: a 57-year-old woman and two men aged 72 and 74. These patients were selected due to their recurring cases of glioblastoma, each having faced bleak outlooks.

    Innovations in Treatment: CARv3-TEAM-E T Cells

    The treatment utilized in the trial, CARv3-TEAM-E T cells, represents an innovative approach to CAR-T therapy. Traditional CAR-T therapy, which has been effective in treating blood cancers, involves reengineering a patient’s T cells to target cancer more effectively. However, applying this method to solid tumors like glioblastoma has been challenging due to the heterogeneity of the tumor cells.

    To enhance the efficacy of CAR-T therapy in solid tumors, researchers combined it with T-cell engaging antibody molecules (TEAMs). These modified CAR T cells are engineered to target both the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) variant III and the wild-type EGFR protein. This dual targeting is crucial for attacking the mixed cell populations within glioblastoma tumors.

    Dramatic Results

    The trial’s results were nothing short of spectacular. MRI scans conducted after the treatments showed dramatic reductions in tumor size:

    Remarkable Cancer Breakthrough Shows Woman's Brain Tumor Nearly Vanishes in Just Five Days
    • The 57-year-old woman exhibited near-complete tumor regression just five days after a single infusion of the therapy.
    • The 72-year-old man showed an 18.5% reduction in tumor size two days after treatment, which increased to a 60.7% reduction by day 69.
    • The 74-year-old man experienced a significant decrease in EGFRvIII and EGFR protein levels, eventually becoming undetectable in his blood and cerebrospinal fluid.
    The results are pretty astounding. (Mass general Brigham)

    Patient Response and Safety

    All three patients tolerated the treatment well, though they experienced some expected side effects such as fevers and altered mental states shortly after infusion. These effects were considered manageable, falling within grade three or dose-limiting toxic effects, which are within acceptable limits for such groundbreaking treatments.

    Expert Reactions

    brain tumor ct scan

    Neurosurgeon Bryan Choi, a key figure in the development of this therapy, emphasized the potential of the CAR-T platform to treat solid tumors effectively by combining multiple therapeutic strategies. Marcela Maus, another lead researcher, remarked on the promising nature of these results, viewing them as a significant step toward developing a cure for glioblastoma.

    Future Implications

    The success of this trial marks a pivotal moment in the treatment of glioblastoma and possibly other solid tumors. The results, recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine, are a beacon of hope for patients suffering from this formidable cancer. While the journey towards a cure continues, the progress made by the Mass General team is a testament to the potential of innovative cancer therapies to significantly alter the course of previously untreatable diseases.