What is CAR-T Cell Therapy?

Lately, a company called Immuno Adoptive Cell Therapy, incubated at IIT Bombay has received approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) for the first humanised CD-19 targeted Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cell (CAR-T Cell) Therapy named NexCAR19 (Actalycabtagene autoleucel). It is a result of a decade-long collaborative effort between IIT Bombay and Tata Memorial Centre (TMC).

ALSO READ- What is CAR-T Cell Therapy? in Hindi…

What is CAR-T Cell Therapy?

CAR-T Cell Therapy is a major breakthrough in cancer treatment. In this therapy, there is no need to take any drug, the patient’s own T-cells are modified in the laboratory. It is used in the cases of relapsed/refractory (r/r) B-cell lymphomas (cancers arising from the lymphatic system) and leukaemias (cancers arising from the cells that produce WBC).

Who Were the Team Members?

Dr. Atharva Karulkar, Dr. Alka Dwivedi and the team led by Rahul Purwar, Associate professor at IIT Bombay designed and developed the NexCAR19.

Procedure of CAR-T Cell Therapy-

T-cells are extracted from the patient’s blood and in the lab, a special receptor called a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) is added to these T-cells. This receptor binds to a specific protein in the patient’s cancer cells. Scientists then grow many CAR-T cells in the lab and administer them to the patient through infusion.

Importance of CAR-T Cell Therapy-

CAR T-cell therapies are incredibly specific, directly activating the patient’s immune system to combat cancer. They are more precise than targeted agents, resulting in higher clinical effectiveness. That’s why they’re often called ‘living drugs.’

Side effects of CAR-T Cell Therapy-

  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Speech impairment
  • Fever
  • Headache


This therapy can reduce the cost of cancer treatment and can be very effective.