The UCL CAR T programme
Key research focuses include:
- Novel target development
- Application of Synthetic biology approaches to T-cell engineering
- Refining CAR T-cell strategies to reduce toxicity and prevent antigen negative escape
- Modulating the interaction of the tumour microenvironment with CAR T-cells
- Semi-automated CAR T-cell manufacturing
- Allogeneic CAR T-cell approaches
Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CARs)
Figure: A CAR has an extracellular portion which is typically composed of a single-chain variable fragment derived from an antibody and a spacer domain. These lead onto a transmembrane domain which anchors the protein in the membrane. This in turn connects onto an intracellular domain which is typically composed of multiple T-cell signaling domains.
Chimeric Antigen Receptors (or CARs for short) are artificial T-cell receptors. CARs are typically generated by fusing the antigen binding portion of a monoclonal antibody to intracellular T-cell signaling domains (see figure). Genetically engineering T-cells to express a CAR allows the generation of T-cells with any desired specificity.
CAR T-cell therapeutics targeting CD19 in refractory B-cell malignancies have resulted in sustained responses in a significant proportion of patients. CD19 CAR T-cell therapy is the most important advance in the field of malignancy haematology in a generation.
The CAR T programme in detail
Find out more about the research and development of CAR T-cell therapies.