FEB 15, 2023 3:00 AM PST

CAR T Cells: A New Approach to Treating Cancer

WRITTEN BY: Katie Kokolus

Over the past decade, advances in immune-based therapeutic approaches have drastically expanded cancer treatment options, directly increasing cancer survivorship.  Immunotherapies constitute a unique form of cancer treatment because, unlike traditional strategies such as chemotherapy which attack healthy and unhealthy cells, immunotherapies strengthen the immune response, making it more capable of targeting cancerous cells.  Some of the most recent immunotherapeutic discoveries focus on chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells.

Utilizing a patient’s own T cells, the part of our immune system that targets and kills cancer cells, CAR T cell therapy can eradicate tumors, resulting in durable, long-lasting remission, even in patients with advanced cancers.  In fact, oncologists sometimes use CAR T cell therapies to treat patients with no other treatment options.  However, despite the excitement and novelty around CAR T cell strategies, many patients remain resistant and ongoing research focuses on expanding the population of patients who can benefit from this innovative approach. 

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About the Author
Doctorate (PhD)
I received a PhD in Tumor Immunology from SUNY Buffalo and BS and MS degrees from Duquesne University. I also completed a postdoc fellowship at the Penn State College of Medicine. I am interested in developing novel strategies to improve the efficacy of immunotherapies used to extend cancer survivorship.
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