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Amalya Sargsyan: First approved T cell therapy for solid tumors
Feb 22, 2024, 23:27

Amalya Sargsyan: First approved T cell therapy for solid tumors

Amalya Sargsyan, Medical Oncologist at Yeolyan Hematology and Oncology Center, shared a post by Nicholas Restifo, Founder and CEO of RestifoPartners, LLC, on LinkedIn, adding the following:

“The “soon” is now! First approved T cell therapy for solid tumors. FDA green-lights Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. Amtagvi (Lifileucel) for tx of advanced melanoma post anti-PD1/targeted treatments, showing a 31.5% response rate. A huge step, which hopefully will push further in cellular therapies for solid tumors.

Behind every FDA approval, there’s an unseen saga of teams, dreams, and relentless pursuit—scientists not just working, but making history beneath the surface.

Yet, can we find the missing puzzle piece to effectively apply cellular therapies across more solid tumors? Tackling toxicity, efficacy, and cost? There’s a whole world to explore… That’s the beauty of science.

Read full press release.”

Quoting Nicholas Restifo’s post:

“Back in the day when we got our information in libraries …

I remember where I was sitting at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center when I read Steve Rosenberg’s 1988 paper about the efficacy of expanded Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes (TIL) in a pristine copy of the NEJM. It felt almost sacred. I was sleep deprived and exhausted as usual early in my post medical school training, but nevertheless was gobsmacked by the description of reading how a patient’s own T cells could turn be activated and expanded to kill metastatic cancer. This was exciting because I could see first-hand just how tough it was to cure metastatic cancer with surgery – my chosen field – or with any other available therapy based on radiation or chemotherapy.

But to some of my mentors, Immunotherapy sounded akin to treating a patient with Astrology, and yet there was the data published in one of medicine’s most revered journals. The late, great Lloyd Old reassured me that this approach was promising so I took a break from my post-grad training and drove down to Bethesda to see the patients with my own eyes. There, I found a fervent initiative to treat critically ill cancer patients using TIL-based therapy, surrounded by passionate, highly driven, brainy individuals committed to its success. Initially planning a brief stay of two or three years to refine the treatment, I was immersed in this accelerating endeavor for three decades and counting.

Fast forward to today, TIL therapy’s journey is still unfolding. It requires a blend of surgical, medical, and scientific knowledge. The excitement is tangible as we await the FDA’s decision, which could make TIL therapy more accessible. Regardless of the outcome, the momentum for this approach is growing, driven by unwavering commitment, rigorous scientific research, deeper understanding of cellular immunology, and an unprecedented set of technical advances. As the field progresses, it holds the promise to transform cancer treatment, especially for solid tumors.”

Source: Amalya Sargsyan/LinkedIn and Nicholas Restifo/LinkedIn