February 2nd, 2021 – New CAR T Cell Therapy Study Initiated to Investigate Cardiovascular Outcomes

A new study to investigate the cardiovascular outcomes of patients receiving CAR (CD19-specific chimeric antigen receptor) T cell therapy for the treatment of relapsing or refractory (not responsive to other treatments) blood cancers is now underway at The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute.

CAR T cells are a novel therapy for relapsing or refractory blood cancers, which have delivered a significant improvement in the rates of complete and partial cancer remission. However, they are associated with toxicities, with some of early evidence suggestive of cardiovascular involvement. Despite this, the full extent of cardiovascular toxicity is poorly understood.

This research study, led by Dr Daniel Chen, Prof Malcolm Walker and Prof Derek Yellon, seeks to understand the cardiac safety of CAR T cells in patients who receive this therapy as part of standard care for relapsed/refractory B-cell blood cancer. Patients will be assessed for cardiovascular risk factors using blood biomarkers and cardiovascular imaging such as echocardiographs and MRI. The aim is to be able to accurately predict the patient cohort most at risk of cardiovascular toxicity and define the cardiac safety of CAR T cell therapies.

The study is now active and recruitment will occur over the next 12 months in collaboration with University College London Hospitals Macmillan Cancer Centre. Cardio-Oncology is a rapidly emerging and increasingly important field of medicine and this study will contribute further knowledge to the cardiac care of cancer patients.