Recently, a patient at Tata Memorial Hospital, was declared cancer-free after getting CAR-T cell therapy, approved by Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO).

  • This treatment reprograms the immune system to fight cancer, marking a significant step in advanced cancer care in the country.

About CAR T-cell therapy:

• CAR T-cell therapy, or Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell therapy, is a type of immunotherapy used in the treatment of certain cancers.

  • NOTE: T cells, also known as T lymphocytes, are a type of white blood cell or immune cell that play a central role in the immune response.
  • It involves a highly personalized approach where a patient’s T cells are extracted from their body. These T cells are then genetically modified in a laboratory to express a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) on their surface.
  • The CAR is designed to recognize specific proteins on the surface of cancer cells. Once the T cells have been engineered to express the CAR, they are multiplied in the laboratory to create a large population of these modified cells. 
  • Finally, the expanded and modified T cells are infused back into the patient.
  • The goal of CAR T-cell therapy is to enhance the patient’s immune system to effectively target and destroy cancer cells.


  • Precision Treatment: CAR-T cell therapy is highly personalized and ensures precision which minimizes damage to healthy cells and reduces side effects compared to traditional treatments like chemotherapy.
  • Potential for Lifelong Immune Memory: There is the potential for CAR-T cells to create a sort of immune memory, helping the body recognize and fight cancer if it attempts to return.
  • Reduced Relapse Rates: Early indications suggest lower rates of cancer relapse, particularly for patients in the early stages of the disease.
  • Ongoing Research and Development: The introduction of CAR-T cell therapy has spurred increased interest and investment in immunotherapy research. Ongoing advancements in this field may lead to further improvements and applications in the future.


  • Cost Barriers: CAR-T cell therapy can be expensive, limiting accessibility for many patients.
  • Limited Applicability: Currently, CAR-T cell therapy is most effective for certain blood cancers, restricting its use for other types of cancer.
  • Unknown Long-Term Effects: The therapy may have side effects, and its long-term impact is still under study.
  • Complex Process: The process of genetically modifying T cells is intricate, requiring specialized facilities and expertise.

Way Forward:

  • Research and Development: Invest in research to broaden the range of cancers treatable with CAR-T cell therapy.
  • Training: Provide training for healthcare professionals in the administration and management of CAR-T cell therapy.
  • Collaboration: Encourage international collaboration for knowledge exchange and resource sharing to make this therapy more accessible and affordable. 
  • Regulatory Support: Create supportive policies that facilitate the integration of CAR-T cell therapy into standard cancer treatment protocols.

CAR-T cell therapy is a promising way to treat cancer. Addressing these challenges and implementing these strategies can contribute to the wider adoption and success of CAR-T cell therapy, ultimately benefiting a larger number of cancer patients.

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