Kite, a Gilead company and Humanigen Inc collaborated to conduct the trials of lenzilumab and Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) combination for patients suffering from relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Kite is the sponsor of this project. The main objective is to study the effect of lenzilumab on the safety of Yescarta. Lenzilumab is anti-GM-CSF monoclonal antibody.
GM-CSF is a critical signal in the inflammatory pathway triggering toxicities in the patients undergoing CAR T cell therapy. Neurologic toxicity and cytokine release syndrome are the toxicities associated with CAR T cell therapy. GM-CSF inhibition can reduce toxicities associated with CAR T cell therapy without affecting the efficacy.
Yescarta is the first CART cell therapy approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States. The product is indicated for relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma.
About CAR T cell therapy:
CAR T cell therapy is a new era in treating patients who have cancer.
How does it work?
The immune system of the body comprised of lymphocytes (a subgroup of white blood cells) which can fight against infection and cancer. Lymphocytes are of 3 types
Natural killer cells
Collection of T cells: T cells are collected from the body by aphaeresis (method to separate white blood cells).
Re-engineering of T cells: T cells are re-engineered at the manufacturing facility, where genetically re-engineering DNA will be introduced into the T cells. Genetically re-engineered T cells will be able to generate chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) on their surface. CAR can recognize the antigens on tumor cells.
Multiplication of CAR T cells: The CAR T cells are multiplied in the laboratory and are sent back to the patient (hospital/treatment center).
These CAR T cells are infused into the patient. These cells are now capable of identifying the tumor cells and fight against them.