Improving Cancer Survival With Immunotherapy: Julian Molina, MD, PhD

The hematologist/oncologist from Mayo Clinic discussed the growing presence of CAR T-cell therapies in lung cancer and melanoma.

“The story of immunotherapy is really interesting... years ago, no one thought that immunotherapy was going to be useful for the treatment of cancer... We thought tumors did not bring any significant immune response; there were only a few researchers doing trials with immunotherapy. But now, we are seeing that immunotherapy is the future of cancer treatment.” 

Mayo Clinic and A2 Biotherapeutics are partnering to develop mesothelin (MSLN) and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)-targeted Tmod chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies. Preclinical data on the Tmod technology were presented at the 36th Annual Meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC), November 10-14, 2021, by Julian Molina, MD, PhD, professor, oncology, Mayo Clinic.

The preclinical data demonstrated the technology’s robust protective effect on surrogate normal human cells in vitro, even in mixed-cell populations, while also yielding a robust cytotoxic effect on tumor cells in xenograft models. Also presented at SITC 2021 was the BASECAMP-1 study, which is intended to identify patients with relapsed solid tumors with human leukocyte antigen (HLA) loss of heterozygosity (LOH) as a future target for Tmod cell therapy.

GeneTherapyLive spoke with Molina to learn more about the value of immunotherapy in improving the treatment landscape of lung cancer and melanoma. He also discussed advantages of Tmod technology over CAR T-cell therapy.

1. A2 Bio to Highlight Program Updates in Two Presentations at SITC 2021. News release. A2 Bio Therapeutics. November 1, 2021.
2. Molina J, Go W, Kopetz S, et al. BASECAMP-1: an observational study to identify relapsed solid tumor patients with human leukocyte antigen (HLA) loss of heterozygosity (LOH) and leukapheresis for future CAR T-cell therapy. Presented at: 2021 SITC Annual Meeting; November 10-14, 2021; Washington, DC. Abstract 491.