NEWS ROUND-UP

Cell therapy weekly: immunotherapy effectively treats melanoma caused by CDKN2A mutation

This week in cell therapy: The global CAR T-cell therapy market has been forecasted to grow 63.15%, a new immunotherapy demonstrates effective treatment of a heredity melanoma and a clinical trial of stem cell therapy for eye injuries receives US$5.25 million grant.

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Oct 11, 2018
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The news highlights:

Immunotherapy effectively treats melanoma caused by CDKN2A mutation

CAR T-cell therapy: market outlook from 2018–2022

Clinical trial of stem cell therapy for eye injuries receives $5.25 million grant

Immunotherapy effectively treats melanoma caused by CDKN2A mutation

Researchers from the Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm, Sweden) have demonstrated the effective treatment of individuals with inherited CDKN2A mutation and metastatic melanoma using immunotherapy. The discovery of the immunotherapy, which inhibits the brake mechanisms in the immune system to treat cancer, was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Study leader Hildur Helgadottir, Karolinska Institutet commented: “We saw that the mutation-carriers with metastatic melanoma responded surprisingly well to immunotherapy. This is good news, particularly for this otherwise vulnerable patient group.”

The team reported that two-thirds of the 19 individuals with CDKN2A mutations responded to the immunotherapy treatment, resulting in either the tumor shrinking or completely disappearing.

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CAR T-cell therapy: market outlook from 2018–2022

The global CAR T-cell therapy market has been forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 63.15% from 2018–2022. A report by ResearchAndMarkets (Dublin, Ireland) has analyzed the CAR T-cell market and predicted the growth prospects of this field in the coming years.

According to the report, a key trend in this market is the proven effectiveness of CAR T-cell therapy, having a higher efficacy compared with other cancer therapies. Other predicted market trends for the coming years include more collaborative research and discovery efforts, reimbursement coverage and advent of armored CAR T-cells. However, the analysis details an important challenge for the growth of the market, which is the high cost associated with CAR T-cell therapy.

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Clinical trial of stem cell therapy for eye injuries receives US$5.25 million grant

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC; IL, USA) have received a grant from the US Department of Defense to lead a clinical trial assessing the efficacy of a stem cell-based treatment for eye injuries. The 4-year US$5.25 million grant will explore the use of mesenchymal stem cells to treat, heal and reduce scaring of eye injuries in experimental models.

Ali Djalilian, principal investigator on the grant (UIC College of Medicine) commented: “We have been studying the healing properties of mesenchymal stem cells in the eye with funding from the Department of Defense for the last 5 years. We have seen that these cells, when applied to the surface of the eye, can play a significant supportive role in healing and promoting healing in such a way as to reduce scarring. We are looking forward to clinical trials of these cells in humans.”

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