Therapy with CAR-T cells (artificially modified t-cells) is a “hot” idea these days in cancer therapy. Last week, the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation highlighted some early days, limited success in researchers at MMSK using CAR T cells in a clinical trial setting involving treatment of persons suffering from mesotheliomas; see this May 18, 2018 article. The article highlights a first report titled: Phase I Clinical Trial of Malignant Pleural Disease Treated with Regionally Delivered Autologous Mesothelin-Targeted CAR T Cells: Safety and Efficacy – A Preliminary Report. The full article abstract is online here. For optimists, the key sentence is one that reports a “remission,” as follows:
“One patient with MPM had complete metabolic response on PET scan (3E5 CAR T cells/kg and 10 cycles of anti-PD1 therapy to date); this patient remains clinically well 8 months after CAR T-cell infusion, with evidence of CAR T-cell persistence in peripheral blood and tissue at 31 weeks.”
For lawyers, on either side of the aisle, one might think about the implications of increased survival time and/or perhaps even better. One might also think about the expenses/damages. When procedures of this sort are provided as part of a clinical trial, the patient does not pay. But, the hospital and drug company do incur expenses and pay fees. And, the sponsors of the trials hope to create working therapies that will cost notable dollars if approved by the FDA.