Expert Point of View: Richard Bram, MD, PhD

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“This is a very exciting breakthrough even though it is preliminary at this point. Previous immune approaches to cancer that initially looked promising have often turned out to have durable responses, therefore we need to study this new technology in controlled clinical trials before it is widely used,” said Richard Bram, MD, PhD, Chair, Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who was not involved in these studies.

“These investigators are using a very clever manipulation of the immune system. Patients don’t need B lymphocytes to survive, as long as they can get an exogenous supply of antibodies from monthly injections of IgG. The treatment targets CD19 B lymphocytes in normal tissue and in cancer tumors, without hurting most other types of cells, and probably depletes the supply of normal B-cells,” Dr. Bram said.

“The efficacy of the chimeric antigen receptor T-cell approach is important, especially in young patients who have no other options. I am cautiously optimistic and very excited, and hope that this novel approach will be rapidly validated and adopted by others,” Dr. Bram stated. ■

Disclosure: Dr. Bram reported no potential conflicts of interest.

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