Dr. Donna Reece

The Elusive C-Word: Cure?

CAR T-cell Treatment for Myeloma

Until now, myeloma patients whose cancer was resistant to commonly used treatment methods and drugs had nowhere to turn. But a Phase 2 CAR T-cell clinical trial that has just opened at The Princess Margaret could change that.

This trial is looking at how effective these CAR T-cells are in patients whose cancer has been resistant to commonly used drugs. Preliminary results are promising.

“What if this could be used at diagnosis?” says Dr. Donna Reece, Director of the Multiple Myeloma Program at The Princess Margaret.

“If you can leverage the immune system to fight this, the cancer might be able to be cured, which is very elusive in myeloma, even with early diagnosis.”

With one of the largest myeloma programs in the world, The Princess Margaret was chosen as the only cancer centre in Canada to participate in this international 100-patient study.

The focus of this study is on how CAR T-cells are constructed to seek out a marker on the surface of the myeloma cells called BCMA, not found in other tissues, in order to attach and suppress those myeloma cells.

The goal is to get this CAR T-cell approved by regulatory bodies so patients can benefit from this treatment.

“This trial could change the standard of care in several ways. First, it would represent a completely new technology for treating myeloma. Secondly, it would offer promise to patients who have exhausted every other treatment in myeloma.”

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