CAR T-Cell Therapy Earns Another FDA Approval

An Update on NETRF’s Funded Research in NETs

He is a pioneer whose work has helped extend the horizon of cancer care, creating a new category of individualized immunotherapy. Carl June, MD, has conducted 25 years of scientific research to advance CAR T-cell therapy. And all that knowledge is now helping to tackle NETs.

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is the only approach that uses a person’s own immune cells (or T-cells) to kill cancer cells. On October 18 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved CAR T-cell therapy for use in certain types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, two months earlier the agency gave the green light for its use in pediatric leukemia. This hope is that this breakthrough approach can also be used in solid tumors.

CAR T-Cell Therapy in NETs

With funding from NETRF, CAR T-cell therapy is being tested on neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). In 2014, NETRF funded Dr. June and colleagues XianXin Hua, MD, PhD, and David Metz, MD, at the University of Pennsylvania to investigate this novel approach. Since that time, NETRF has extended funding for the group with Dr. Hua taking the lead in laboratory experiments.

“NETRF recognized the value of this emerging technology and approached Dr. June to test it in NETs,” said Effie Tzameli, PhD, NETRF Director of Research. “The surface of a NET cell is different than normal cells, which may make it easier for a CAR to recognize and attack.”

Dr. Hua is testing the effectiveness of a new CAR (SSTR2) capable of recognizing and attacking NET cells.  In laboratory models, Dr. Hua and colleagues are studying whether the experimental NET CAR (SSTR2) is as safe and effective as the leukemia CAR (CD19) in killing cancer cells (and not healthy cells). These studies will continue until early 2018. If SSTR2 proves safe and effective in laboratory testing, it could be testing in humans in the early 2020s.

“The Foundation’s support got NETs in the CAR T-cell lab early with the foremost pioneers of this revolutionary therapy,” said Dr. Tzameli.  “This is how NETRF transforms the outlook of NETs by harnessing breakthrough opportunities that otherwise would have taken decades to trickle down to the most uncommon cancer types.”

Help advance the search for innovative, breakthrough treatments for NETs, donate.

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Hello, what is the success rate of the PRRT. How will PRRT compare to the potential of CART T-cell.
With PRRT, octreotide is combined with a radioactive isotope (for example Lutetium 177)—creating a special type of radiopharmaceutical called a radiopeptide.

When injected into the body, this radiopeptide travels to and binds to neuroendocrine tumor cells, delivering a high dose of radiation to the tumor.

Thanks Mark

I would like to put my name on the list to be available for human trials as,soon as they become available.

Thank you.


I would like to b in this trial if possible too. I hv NETS. My oncologist is Dr Paul Helft
Simon Cancer Center
@ Indiana University Health
Indianapolis IN


Will this be available for all nets including lung?
Interested to hear more.
Thank you


Legal isso sou do Brazil


Any update on where this is at?


Paul where are you based, my partner has been diagnosed with a NET tumor Grade 3 KI67>40. so very keen to understand if this has made as we are not in early 2020 – We are UK Based

CAR T-Cell Therapy Earns Another FDA Approval