Transferring innovations in cancer treatment to other diseases

6 Mar 2024
Transferring innovations in cancer treatment to other diseases

CAR-T cells are considered a major innovation in cancer therapy: The T cells – i.e. the immune system’s white blood cells – of people with cancer are altered in laboratories in such a way that they can specifically identify and eliminate tumour cells.

People with previously incurable blood cancer diseases have been successfully treated in this way.

Now the therapy is also being used for other diseases such as auto-immune diseases, infectious diseases, and cardiac fibrosis.

In an interdisciplinary Leopoldina Symposium on Monday, 8 April and Tuesday, 9 April, international experts will discuss current CAR-T cell therapy approaches for these and other, non-malignant diseases.

Interdisciplinary discussion
“Expanding the Scope of CAR-T Cell Therapy”
Monday, 8 April 2024, 1.30 p.m. to 6.45 p.m. and Tuesday, 9 April 2024, 9. a.m. to 12.30 p.m.
German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
Jägerberg 1, 06108 Halle (Saale)/Germany and online

While chimeric antigen receptors (CAR-)T cells have to date primarily been used in anti-tumour treatments, they have the potential to be used more widely.

For example, they have already been used to successfully treat previously incurable auto-immune diseases.

At the symposium, renowned international scientists will discuss how CAR-T cell therapy can be transferred to non-malignant diseases.

Lectures will be given by a range of scientists, including the virologist Professor Dr Ulrike Protzer from the Technical University of Munich/Germany, the physician Professor Dr Steven Deeks from the University of California in San Francisco/USA, and the geneticist Scott W. Lowe, PhD, from the Sloan Kettering Institute in New York/USA. Professor Dr Dimitrios Mougiakakos, Head of the Oncology Center at University Hospital Magdeburg/Germany, will talk about the auto-immune disease myasthenia.

In 2023, Mougiakakos and his team succeeded in treating a myasthenia patient using CAR-T cell therapy for the first time. A patient who received CAR-T cell therapy will also participate in a panel discussion.

Leopoldina Member and immunologist Professor Dr Georg Schett and the haematologist Professor Dr Andreas Mackensen, both from the University Hospital Erlangen/Germany, are responsible for the scientific coordination of the event.

The interdisciplinary discussion is registered as an advanced training event with the Saxony-Anhalt Medical Association and is aimed at members of the public with a specialist interest.

It will take place in English, is free of charge, and will also be streamed on the Leopoldina’s YouTube channel. Information about required registration, livestream and other information can be found here:

Journalists who would like to attend should register by email at Interviews with the participating scientists and the two scientific coordinators can be organised.

Source: Leopoldina