Malignant lymphoma effectively treated for the first time in Thailand using a method provided by Nagoya University

 One of the patients who received the PiggyBac CAR-T cell therapy(5th from the right), Professor Takahashi from Nagoya University (4th from the right), and the team of researchers and clinicians at Chulalongkorn University



 Professor Takahashi at the press conference at Chulalongkorn University



On March 24, 2023, Chulalongkorn University reported clinical trial results of malignant lymphoma treatment using non-viral vector-based chimeric antigen receptor gene-modified T cell (CAR-T cell) therapy.


To treat relapsed or chemotherapy resistant malignant lymphoma, a few different types of CAR-T cell therapies have been approved by the regulatory authorities in the US, Europe and Japan. However, no CAR-T cell therapies are commercially available in Thailand due to their expensive and complex production methods. In other words, there is currently no efficient treatments for such chemotherapy resistant patients with malignant lymphoma in Thailand.


A research team led by Prof. Yoshiyuki Takahashi in the Department of Pediatrics at the Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine and Dr. Nobuhiro Nishio in the Department of Advanced Medicine have developed a new type of CAR-T cell therapy technique that employs the piggyBac transposon method. Compared to existing CAR-T cell therapies, this technique is less expensive and requires less technical effort, which opened up the possibility of use in Thailand and motivated this clinical trial.


In December 2018, the Nagoya University School of Medicine signed a material transfer agreement to support the use of CAR-T cell therapy with the Faculty of Medicine at Chulalongkorn University. Since then, researchers from Nagoya University have been supporting CAR-T cell therapy clinical research in Thailand. PiggyBac CAR-T cell therapy was administered to five patients with relapsed and chemotherapy resistant malignant lymphoma for the first time in Thailand, and researcher reported the therapy has been effective. Of note, one of the patients with a large 10-centimeter lymphoma that was unresponsive to any treatments had her disease controlled 1 month after CAR T-cell treatment and remained disease- free for one year.


The current report is an important milestone especially for patients with malignant lymphoma and their families in Thailand.

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Check out a video about this story from National Broadcasting Services of Thailand

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