Dr. Michael Hudecek, MD University of Würzburg, Germany Interview Date: August 24, 2016
The Myeloma Crowd began funding two research projects in 2016 specifically for high-risk multiple myeloma for patients who don't respond well to today's treatments. Today's show is an update by researcher Dr. Michael Hudecek on the CAR T cell work by he and Dr. Hermann Einsele of the University of Würzburg in Germany. In this show Dr. Hudecek tells us that there is intense activity in the CAR T cell space in the international community because it has the promise to lead to long-term remissions and potentially a cure. He shared that in order to minimize the impact of potential toxicity in the "cytokine release syndrome" that occurs when the myeloma cells die when the treatment is given, they are finding that the higher the level of myeloma, the lower CAR T cell dose is given. Conversely, the lower the level of myeloma, the higher the dose is given. He shares four key advantages and differences in their work vs. work by others in the CAR T cell field. 1) CS1 is a better target than BCMA but by combining the two, it can lead to even greater impact. He notes that people can have different levels of BCMA but always have CS1. 2) They are working on non-viral ways to manufacture the CAR T cell (using viruses is a biohazard in the lab) 3) They are working on how the CAR T cell is manufactured, so it appears as "human" as possible to the immune system and 4) They are engineering both killer T cells AND helper T cells to target the myeloma.
Myeloma survivor, patient advocate, wife, mom of 6. Believer that patients can help accelerate a cure by weighing in and participating in clinical research. Founder of the HealthTree Foundation.
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