There’s no prescription, no daily dosage. These drugs are alive. They live inside the body, each created from the patient’s own cells and each tailored to the specific genetics of his or her disease. With CAR-T therapy, we can actually retrain the immune system to fight and defeat mortal diseases. Today, CAR-T therapies are being developed around the world to create living medicines customized to the patient’s own biology.
The immunorevolution began in 2003 with the mapping of the human genome. For the first time, we knew which genes affected which traits in the body. But actually changing those genes would require something more. Over the next decade, Penn Medicine developed CAR-T cell therapy, a groundbreaking technique for retraining the body’s T cells. CAR-T was first approved for treating leukemia, a type of blood cancer.
At Penn and across the world, immunotherapies are now being developed for diseases beyond cancer, like HIV and Multiple Sclerosis.
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