From James H. Essell, MD, a noted medical oncologist, hematologist and blood and marrow transplant specialist at OHC

April 21, 2021

OHC’s cancer experts are among the select investigators who will be the first in the world to enroll patients in a study to evaluate a new therapy for B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL). This immunotherapy has the potential to offer several benefits to B-NHL patients whose cancer has relapsed or not responded to treatment.

Three years ago, OHC’s cancer experts represented the first adult cancer group in the region to introduce the revolutionary immunotherapy called chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy (CAR-T) for adults with aggressive blood cancers. CAR-T uses a patient’s own T-cells that are genetically engineered to prepare the CAR-T cell therapy which is then given back to the same patient. T-cells are an important part of the immune system that can kill cancer cells in the body.

Now, OHC will participate in a new clinical trial involving the redirection of T-cells against tumors. Caribou Bioscience’s ANTLER study will evaluate CB-010, a new type of allogeneic CAR-T therapy for multiple subtypes of B-NHL. Allogeneic means that the T-cells are derived from a healthy donor rather than taken from the patient. The healthy donor’s T-cells are genetically modified for administration to any cancer patient in a universal “off-the-shelf” manner that reduces the waiting time for the patient. The healthy donor T-cells are genetically engineered to contain a CAR (chimeric antigen receptor). The CAR is designed to bind to a certain protein on tumor cells, resulting in the targeting of the CAR-T cell to kill the malignant cells in the patient.

We are very excited to have access to this “off the shelf” product using healthy donor T-cells as another option to the patient’s own T-cells. Elimination of the wait time for access to CAR-T therapy for cancer patients is a tremendous benefit. Currently, it can take three-to-four weeks to modify a patient’s own T-cells in preparation for treatment, while the ANTLER trial ensures availability of the CAR-T treatment material immediately after patient enrollment in the trial.

In addition to quick access to an inventory of healthy donor T-cells, this investigational product has the following potential benefits:

  • Extended T-cell persistence and durability of anti-tumor activity
  • More uniform T-cells
  • Prevention of T-cell exhaustion which is sometimes seen with T-cells from a patient who has received years of chemotherapy.

The Caribou study will consist of two parts evaluating up to 50 participants in up to a total of 12 centers in the United States. As OHC enrolls a patient, it will be leading the charge as the first in the world to conduct this innovative Phase I clinical trial.

Despite advances in immunotherapy, not enough patients benefit from the treatment. We believe that cancer research is essential to being able to avoid delay in treatment, improve patient access to revolutionary treatments, and, in turn, provide more hope for remission. Our hope is to treat patients sooner and avoid unnecessary delay in treatment, thereby increasing their potential survival rate.

OHC is relentless in its search for new and innovative treatments to help patients beat their cancer. We created a nationally recognized clinical trials program to offer patients the newest, most promising treatments like CAR-T. We continue to lead in the development and availability of new treatments such as immunotherapies and cellular therapies. To learn more about OHC, or to request a second opinion, visit or call 1-888-649-4800.

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