A lab engineered receptor designed to bind certain proteins, such as surface proteins on cancer cells, that is added to immune cells for immunotherapy strategies such as directing T cells to fight cancer.
To generate CAR-T cells for therapy a CAR-encoding DNA cassette is transduced by retroviral delivery into patient peripheral blood leukocytes from a cancer patient. Transduced cells are expanded and reinfused back into the patient. The introduced DNA sequences for the tumor associated antigens are ideally only expressed on tumor cells.
Allogeneic or universal cell therapy products, also called off-the-shelf cell therapy products would allow a broader implementation of these cell therapies. One method being researched is to derive natural killer (NK) cells from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) cells and engineer iPS cell-derived NK cells to target and kill cancer cell similarly to CAR-T cells.