Hope Unleashed: Navigating the Frontier of Cancer Treatment with Dr. Vijay Patil and Vivek Sharma’s Insight into CAR-T Cell Therapy
In today’s episode, let’s explore the groundbreaking world of CAR-T Cell Therapy with Dr. Vijay Patil and Vivek Sharma. Uncovering the transformative impact this revolutionary treatment has on cancer care by unlocking a new realm of hope for patients. Together they will discover the promise of precision medicine in the fight against cancer. Join them on a journey towards a brighter, cancer-free future.
Vivek Sharma: Hello. My name is Vivek Sharma. I am an author and a social entrepreneur. I work. I produce and create a lot of content in the domains of cancer and mental health. I bring you a lot of information about cancer and today we have Dr. Vijay Patil with me.
Thank you so much for inviting us today. We met at the Indian Cancer Congress where we had a little conversation about buying a new car. So, today we will talk about the same car but in regards to the car that has emerged as a big sensational news or a big topic in society.
Doctor, let’s give more insights to the audience on which car are we talking about?
Dr. Vijay Patil: Hello, my name is Dr. Vijay Patil and the car we are talking about Vivek is called Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cell. I’ll tell you a little bit by bit about it. Nowadays, new methods of treatment are coming in cancer. You may have heard about chemotherapy, immunother apy, and targeted therapy. But this is a whole new Next Level of Immunotherapy.
Okay, so what does this immunotherapy do? Cancer produces different types of antigens. So, What does antigen mean? Antigen means a kind of identification. Meaning every cell has some proteins on top of its surface. If we group these proteins together, they will be called antigens, and some of these antigens are quite unique. Take for example – You have an Aadhaar card, voter ID, PAN card, or a license that is granted to you by the government. The ID cards of every individual are unique and it varies from one person to another. In the same way, every person also has different identity antigens in their body with their unique identity.
Here we’ve tried to find an antigen that is present in the tumor itself and nowhere else. By capturing these antigens we make antibodies.
What is antibody? You’ve heard about vaccinations. For eg – There is a polio vaccine. Where few drops is injected to the children. It is called as ‘Life savior polio virus’. In these doctors inject live polio virus to childrens that consists of antigens. This antigen is not harmful to the body as it is present in small measurements. It will infact help to increase body’s immune system by producing more antibodies. So, when tomorrow if the person comes into contact with such polio virus the body will be prepared to fight against these antibodies.
Antibodies are our army. We use the same strategy to treat cancer with antigen receptor cell. We make antibodies against this cancer cells. Whenever it is necessary we make such antibodies by producing antibody cells. These antobody cells after formation are injected back to the patient’s body. I have made these whole process quite simple through in-depth scientific research.
In simple terms, such cells produce antibodies against cancer. When these are administered into the cancer patient’s body it destroys cancer cells and these procedure is called as Car T-cell Therapy.
Vivek Sharma: Ok, So, what I’ve understood is – these cells are removed from the body and engineered outside in a laboratory to produce a cure.
Dr. Vijay Patil: Absolutely sir, I will explain to you with the car example. So that we can break it down further for our listeners. Take for an example I have cancer. These cancer is growing in my body. Infact , every human being can acquire cancer. But as long as the person’s immunity is strong the growth of cancer can be stopped from happening. If the person’s immunity decreases by breaking or fooling the immune system the cancer progresses in the human body. In such case, how will we restore this immune system?
We use a procedure called Leukapheresis which is used to remove white blood cells from your blood. After removal of these blood from the bloodstream it will be processed in the lab with integration of engineered virus.
Vivek Sharma: Where do you get the virus from? This virus is created from outside. It is an engineered virus. It has the clone property of the actual virus and it can be easily integrated into the human DNA. We will use this property for the treatment of cancer. These engineered virus is merged into the cell.
When this virus enters the cell – it will specifically integrate with the DNA of its cell.
This virus will now go inside the engineered virus to produce engineered antibodies that match with DNA to provide information to the cell on how to create antibodies to fight against cancer.
This cell will then be capable of producing antibodies. I will make many such cells in the lab. And, these cells will be made in the proportion of 10 raised to the power 8. These cells will have all the capability to detect even a moving tumor around.
Once they see the tumor, they will identify the antigen. Now they already have the power to produce antibodies, so they will react after seeing that tumor. They will kill the tumor with the help of this engineered cell.
Vivek Sharma: So, you’re saying that – if someone has cancer in their body, then some blood will be removed from their bloodstream and will be taken into the lab. Something something something will happen. Later, after putting the same blood back into the patient’s body they will get treated. Wow!
Dr. Vijay Patil: As miraculous as it seems these treatments have given proven results. So far, whatever new medicines are developed for cancer, it is given to those patients who have very little chance of recovery. That means even less than 5 to 10 percent. In such a situation, our treatment brought success rates to 75 to 80 percent of cancer patients.
Vivek Sharma: Amazing. This is so incredible! You Guys, don’t go anywhere. I will return to you again with another new episode with lots of clarity. You are listening to me, Vivek Sharma with Dr. Vijay Patil – who is a medical oncologist practicing in Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai. He gave us a lot of information on CAR T-cell therapy which has served as a revolution to cancer treatment approaches. For more such information on advanced cancer treatments and cure Stay tuned!