Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell (CAR-T) Therapy

12 June 2021 Current Affairs:The Department of Biotechnology supported the first CAR-T cell therapy performed at ACTREC at Tata Hospital in Mumbai.

♦ The first CAR-T cell therapy was performed in June 2021 at the Bone Marrow Transplant unit at ACTREC, Tata Memorial Centre in Mumbai.
♦ This is a “first in India” gene therapy that is in the early stages of a pilot clinical trial.The trial was conducted by IIT Bombay and Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai partly supported by the BIRAC-PACE scheme.
♦ The central government’s National Biopharma Mission-BIRAC has approved 19.15 Cr for the team to conduct a first-in-human phase-1/2 clinical trial of the CAR-T cells.

About Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell Therapy:
♦ It is a type of treatment in which a patient’s T cells (a type of immune system cell) are altered in the laboratory to attack cancer cells.
♦ T cells are extracted from the patient’s blood. Then, in the laboratory, the gene for a special receptor that binds to a specific protein on the patient’s cancer cells is added to the T cells. 
♦ The unique receptor is known as a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR). A large number of CAR T cells are grown in the laboratory and infused into the patient.
♦ It is used to treat certain types of blood cancers and is being researched for other cancers as well.

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