Personalised Cancer Treatment: Successful Project Meeting of H2020 Project CARAT

It is almost half-time in CARAT and the 2nd Progress Meeting hosted by partner INSERM in Paris on October 10-11, 2017 took place just at the right time with the news about the first gene therapy approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still being fresh.

Additionally, PEI’s review in the EMBO Journal in which they evaluated 200 clinical trials in the field of CAR T cell therapy, has created major impact being the second most read article in the journal following its publication in the September 2017 issue.

Accordingly, these two events set the frame for a meeting full of discussions on the way forward and the next steps ahead. CARAT’s aim is to develop an efficient and safe technology platform for advanced cellular therapies, namely to manufacture CAR T-cell products for personalized treatment of cancer patients. All partners are working closely together on the different steps towards this ambitious goal. The CARAT consortium was joined this time by their Scientific Advisory Board members Prof. Claudia Roessig (University Hospital Muenster, Germany) and Prof. Gianpietro Dotti (University of North Carolina, USA) who got involved in the discussions and provided fruitful advice.

Claudia Rössig said: “I was intrigued by the substantial translational relevance of the work and the high quality of the tools developed by the consortium. I have no doubts that the project will make major contributions to advancing CAR-based cellular therapies in the future”.

At the end of the first meeting day, the CARAT members had the possibility to visit INSERM’s fluorescent imaging facilities. The innovative platforms at INSERM are used to investigate, in a preserved tumour microenvironment, the efficacy of CAR T cells produced by the other members of the CARAT consortium.

CARAT’s outreach events were discussed on the second day. In 2018, CARAT results will be presented at three major events:

  • Session at EBMT in Lisbon, Portugal on March 19, 2018
  • Workshop together with the ITN EN-ACTI2NG at the International Conference on Immunology, Immunodeficiency and Immunotherapy in Freiburg on June 27, 2018
  • Regulatory workshop at the CIMT meeting in Mainz, Germany in May 2018