Dr Maksim Mamonkin talks to ecancer following his ALL Assembly talk.
He begins by talking about how cellular immunotherapy for T-ALL has been lagging behind similar approaches to B-Cell malignancies, largely because the antigens that are targetable in T-cell ALL are also expressed in normal T-cells, including CAR T-cells.
Dr Mamonkin then goes on to list 3 problems that need to be solved for the therapies to be safe and effective, including cell fratricide. He also mentions the development of a CD5 specific CAR where the expression on T-cells, surprising, leads to resistance of fratricide, as T-cells down regulate and degrade CD5 protein very efficiently, meaning they essentially become invisible to each other, evading fratricide.
He concludes by saying that right now we live in a very exciting time where we can now start offering patients with refractory relapsed T-ALL some immuno-engineered cell therapies that can offer much needed clinical solutions.