Advances and challenges of CAR T therapy and suitability of animal models (Review)
- Xavier E. Ramos-Cardona
- Weichuan Luo
- Sulma I. Mohammed
Affiliations: Department of Comparative Pathobiology, Purdue University Center for Cancer Research, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA, Department of Chemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
- Published online on: July 12, 2022 https://doi.org/10.3892/mco.2022.2567
Copyright: © Ramos-Cardona
et al. This is an open access article distributed under the
terms of Creative
Commons Attribution License.
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Chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) recently gained momentum in cancer treatment due to their ability to promote T‑cell mediated responses to a specific tumor‑associated antigen. CARs are part of the adoptive cell transfer (ACT) strategies that utilize patients' T lymphocytes, genetically engineered to kill cancer cells. However, despite the therapy's success against blood‑related malignancies, treating solid tumors has not reached its fullest potential yet. The reasons include the complex suppressive tumor microenvironment, mutations on cancer cells' target receptors, lethal side‑effects, restricted trafficking into the tumor, suboptimal persistence in vivo and the lack of animal models that faithfully resemble human tumor's immunological responses. Currently, rodent models are used to investigate the safety and efficacy of CAR therapies. However, these models are limited in representing the human disease faithfully, fail to predict the adverse treatment events and overestimate the efficacy of the therapy. On the other hand, spontaneously developed tumors in dogs are more suited in CAR research and their efficacy has been demonstrated in a number of diseases, including lymphoma, osteosarcoma and mammary tumors. The present review discusses the design and evolution of CARs, challenges of CAR in solid tumors, human and canine clinical trials and advantages of the canine model.