RE: Evaluation of Keytruda and CAR T-cell therapy for cancer treatment: The similarities and differences therein

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Thanks a lot for the mention and coming back to the point I raised in your previous blog. This clarifies a lot what Keytruda is and how different it is from a CAR T-cell-based treatment.

I have a couple of very naive comments/questions. The trickiest cancer cells are those traveling freely in our body. Is that correct that they could avoid both CAR T-cell and Keytruda treatment? Or can both treatment work on any cancer cell in our body, anywhere it is. Moreover, could a joint use of CAR T-cell and Keytruda be helpful here, as they target slightly different proteins (PD-1/CD19 if I have well understood). I have the impression that such a joint usage is not necessary as both treatment works quite nicely alone.

Finally, as a last question, is it also correct to say that Keytruda is an easier treatment to take, as we don’t need to deal with chimeric gene insertion into T lymphocytes?

Thanks in advance for your answers!



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The trickiest cancer cells are those traveling freely in our body. Is that correct that they could avoid both CAR T-cell and Keytruda treatment?

Very true. They are the metastatic types. They move and acquire all Manner of protection against therapies.

For example, CAR-TCELLS therapy Cannot work on any cancer cell that doesn't express the CD-19. This one shortcomings associated with the therapy, but the chances of such cancer surviving the destructive effects of the T cell is minimal.

Mutation in the cancer cells, is one of the key factor that can confer on cancer cells the ability to evade the effects on the therapies. If mutation occurs and the cancer cells adapt, then we are back to squares one.

Moreover, could a joint use of CAR T-cell and Keytruda be helpful here, as they target slightly different proteins (PD-1/CD19 if I have well understood

This is a lovely thought but the side effect might be overwhelming to the patient. One therapy alone has caused some deaths in the volunteers patients. Combining both therapy simply increases the risk. Though there is yet to be be any experimental findings. Should it happen, rats and laboratory animals would be the first Targets before Humans. But I think the best is to administer the therapy singly rather than concurrently, that would reduce the risk.

Keytruda is an easier treatment to take, as we don’t need to deal with chimeric gene insertion into T lymphocytes?

Haha, I agree here. Judging from the whole Processes required for effective therapy.

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Thanks for these extra bits of information. I can now corner the issue at stake better.

In fact, we have different treatments, and one may be better than the other depending on the cancer type. Moreover, there is of course a survival rate that is not 100% (regardless of the cure), and it is not guaranteed that the cure will work at all. However, chances are in all cases greater than with other older methods.

Is it a good summary?

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