In 2017, the first immuno-oncology cell therapies, known as chimeric antigen receptor T cells, or CAR T, were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Immuno-oncology cell therapy is a field that leverages the immune system by modifying, and thereby enhancing, immune cells to target cancer.
CAR-T therapies have had an unprecedented success in blood cancers, such as certain leukemias and lymphomas.
CAR T therapies have shown limited success in solid tumors, since they do not typically express a molecule on their surface that is unique to the solid tumor and not to normal tissue. This, coupled with the complex matrix in which cancer cells grow, makes it challenging to develop cellular therapies for solid tumors.