Hi. My name is Sebastian Kobold,
I'm a Professor of Medicine and Experimental Immuno-oncology and
Vice-Chair of Clinical Pharmacology here at
the University Hospitals of Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich.
Today, I want to tell you more about how T cells that have been engineered,
either with a chimeric antigen receptor or with
a T cell receptor work for cancer treatment.
I would just go straight ahead with saying that most of the talk will be
about chimeric antigen receptors CAR because they're
the so far only approved treatment or cellular treatment for cancer that we have and
that's why I think it's much more important to focus on those
than on the TCRs which are currently more experimental.
T cells are really at the core of therapeutic developments in oncology and the reason for
that is really being because it has been recognized that T cells are being hampered,
are being suppressed by cancer cells in
order to give the cancer cells the opportunity to grow and to progress.
Meaning that in a sense,
T cells have the natural ability to become
specific against specific or cancer associated antigens.
But the issue is that T cells are being suppressed by
the tumor cell to allow the tumor cell freedom to grow and to metastasize.
But it has been recognized that in this sense,
two molecules seem to be very important to suppress T cell activity and cancer,
which is the programmed death receptor1 and a cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4, CTLA-4.
One of the big part of the advances in oncology in recent years has been
that if you block either of those pathways by, let's say,
monoclonal antibodies as depicted on the slide,
you can actually reinvigorate T cell responses and
enable them to recognize cancer cells again.
This has been really a paradigm shift in oncology because now for the first time,
we really had a drug or a modality that's not targeting the cancer cell at all,
but really targeting only immune cells or T cells in this case.
By doing so, they re-enable the immune system to
recognize cancer cells and to be therapeutic.
In a sense, T cells have become really premium or prime anti-cancer weapons.
At the core of this recognition stems the following idea,