CAR-NK cell therapies have risen to prominence as a unique therapeutic alternative for overcoming challenges associated with CAR-T cell therapies, such as therapy-induced side effects. More than 500 CAR-T and 17 CAR-NK cell trials are currently underway around the world, including four CAR-T cell treatments that are already on the market: Kymriah, Yescarta, Tecartus, and Breyanzi. CAR-immune cell therapies that use precise gene insertion to avoid graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) or a dual targeting method with adapter CARs to avoid therapy resistance caused by antigen loss are being investigated.
While most CAR-T cell therapies are designed to target B-cell malignancies, they are also under development for the treatment of different hematologic diseases such as AML. Besides CD33, which was detected on AML blasts in 85–90% of patients and shown to be present on leukemic stem cells (LCSs), also CD123 expression could be detected on AML blasts as well as LCSs in 75–89% of cases.
To date, the first four drugs in the US and three in Europe have been granted marketing authorization, using CAR-modified immune cells as therapies for specific hematological malignancies. As a result, a wide range
of targets must be addressed, including non-malignant targets like HIV-infected cells. As a result, the study provides sufficient reason for CAR-based cellular therapies being extremely promising, and will almost probably lead to the creation of authorized tailored therapeutic options in the future.