ImmunoACT’s cell therapy to treat blood cancer gets CDSCO nod

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Source: The post is based on the article “ImmunoACT’s cell therapy to treat blood cancer gets CDSCO nod” published in “The Hindu” on 14th October 2023

What is the News?

Immunoadoptive Cell Therapy Private Limited (Immune ACT) has received Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation(CDSCO) approval for the ‘first’ humanized Chimeric Antigen Receptor T cell (CAR-T cell) therapy named NexCAR19.

Note: ImmunoACT is an IIT Bombay incubated company.

What is NexCAR19?

NexCAR19 is an indigenously developed CAR-T cell therapy.

Developed by: IIT Bombay and Tata Memorial Centre. 

The therapy has been approved for the treatment of relapsed / refractory B-cell lymphomas and leukemia.

What is CAR-T cell therapy?

Source: TOI

CAR T-cell therapy, or chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy is a major breakthrough in cancer treatment.

Unlike chemotherapy which involves taking drugs, CAR T-cell therapies use a patient’s own cells.They are modified in the laboratory to activate T-cells and target tumor cells.

Currently, this therapy is offered as a second-line treatment for late-stage leukaemia and lymphoma when patients do not respond to conventional treatments like chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants or experience relapsed cancer.

How does CART-T cell therapy work?

First, a patient’s T cells are extracted from their blood.The extracted T cells are then genetically modified in a laboratory. 

Scientists then introduce a synthetic gene into the T cells, which encodes a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR).This receptor is designed to target a specific protein or antigen found on the surface of cancer cells.

After genetic modification, the T cells are cultured and allowed to multiply to create a larger population of these modified cells.

Once a sufficient number of CAR T cells have been generated, they are infused back into the patient’s bloodstream.The CAR T cells then circulate throughout the body, seeking out and binding to the cancer cells with the targeted antigen.

When the CAR T cells encounter cancer cells with the specific antigen, they become activated and attack the cancer cells.This immune response can lead to the destruction of the cancer cells.

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