CAR-T Cell therapy has been recognised as a breakthrough in cancer treatment. Clinical trials across the globe have pointed towards its efficacy, and have even yielded positive results in patients suffering from acute lymphocytic leukemia. However, due to high costs, CAR-T Cell therapy for cancer treatment was not available in India.
Recently, the first-ever Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy, a type of gene therapy for blood cancer treatment, was performed in India. The CAR-T Cell Therapy for cancer treatment was conducted at the Bone Marrow Transplant unit at the Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer (ACTREC), Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai in collaboration with IIT-Bombay. Seeing the positive results, the Central government has decided to allocate a sum of Rs 19.15 crore to conduct first-in-human phase-I/ II clinical trials of the CAR-T cells.
Boost for Cancer Care in India
The clinical trials for the first in India gene therapy are being conducted by Dr. Gaurav Narula, Professor of Paediatric Oncology and Health Sciences alongside his team from TMC, Mumbai. CAR-T cells were designed and manufactured at IIT, Bombay. The technology has a remarkable therapeutic potential for cancer patients.
To support and promote the timely development of CAR-T cell technology, the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) and the DBT have taken initiatives and launched specialised calls to invite proposals. The work is currently being partly funded by the BIRAC-PACE scheme. The TMC-IIT Bombay team has also received support from DBT-BIRAC through the National Biopharma Mission to carry on with the Phase I/II trial of their CAR-T product.
Subhasis Chaudhuri, the director of IIT Bombay, said, “Our scientists along with Tata Memorial Hospital have come out with the most sophisticated therapy in cancer treatment. If the trials are successful, it may save millions of lives by making the treatment available in India at an affordable cost.”
CAR-T Cell Therapy for cancer treatment can be of immense help to treat cancer patients. Its benefits can last for many years and relieve the pain caused by traditional cancer treatments.