From Nature Outlook, 14 November 2018:
First-in-human trials are risky. That’s why they tend to involve the sickest of the sick — people whose disease has progressed beyond the reach of any existing treatment, and who have no other options. So it is a testament to the revolutionary nature of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy (CAR-T therapy) that some of the people who took part in its first clinical trial are still alive 8 years later.
Stephen Schuster, director of the lymphoma programme at Penn Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, recalls that the first person who enrolled in the trial was in bad shape. The man had a genetically mutated lymphoma that had already defied numerous treatment attempts. Schuster thought nothing would save his life.
That pessimism turned out to be poorly founded. “Amazingly enough, he got stronger and stronger and stronger,” Schuster recalls. “And then when I did a scan, he was in remission.” Read more.