In the ongoing quest to combat cancer, chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T therapy has emerged as a promising treatment, revolutionizing the way we enhance a patient’s immune cells within the laboratory to escalate their assault on cancerous tumors. However, this innovative therapy encounters significant resistance when deployed against solid tumors due to the dauntingly hostile environment these tumors manufacture within the organs.
Addressing this challenge, another therapeutic contender enters the arena: CAR macrophage therapy. This novel approach ingeniously modifies immune cells known as macrophages with CARs, displaying a potent potential specifically tailored for solid tumors. In this review, we navigate through the labyrinth of CAR-T and CAR macrophage therapies, probing their structural intricacies, their operational tactics against cancer, and the formidable barriers solid tumors present, all the while drawing invaluable lessons from clinical trial experiences.
What sets CAR macrophage therapy apart, as this review suggests, are its two distinct advantages in combatting solid tumors: it deploys a broader spectrum of tumor-fighting strategies and boasts superior access to the very heart of tumor sites. Notwithstanding, it shares with CAR T therapy certain limitations, particularly the challenge of identifying suitable targets on the elusive tumor cells themselves. This review serves not only to juxtapose the two modalities but also to contemplate how they might learn from each other to enhance their effectiveness against solid tumors.
Moreover, we highlight the critical questions that must be addressed by future research. The imperative to identify novel targets for these therapies is underscored, aiming to amplify their safety and efficacy. Additionally, the urgent need for more extensive clinical trials with a laser focus on solid tumors is emphasized, in order to deepen our comprehension of the advantages and potential risks associated with both CAR-T and CAR macrophage therapies.
The cross-pollination of insights and therapeutic strategies between CAR-T and CAR macrophage therapies offers a tantalizing glimpse into the future of oncological treatment. As this field evolves, it becomes increasingly clear that each therapy has much to teach the other, potentially paving the way for a new era in the management and eradication of solid tumors. Through a synergy of innovative research and clinical prowess, we stand on the cusp of transformative advances in cancer therapy.
The translation of preceeding text in Chinese:
Reference: Chen K, Liu M- ling, Wang J- cheng, Fang S. CAR-macrophage versus CAR-T for solid tumors: The race between a rising star and a superstar. Biomol Biomed [Internet]. 2023Oct.24 [cited 2023Nov.2];. Available from: https://www.bjbms.org/ojs/index.php/bjbms/article/view/9675
Editor: Ermina Vukalic