We are looking into CAR T-cell therapy as a means to treat autoimmune diseases like MS. CAR T-Cell therapy currently is used to treat cancer, and works by changing a patient’s T-cells in a lab so they attack cancer cells. Then, a special receptor called a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) that binds to cancer cells is added to the T-cells. (cancer.gov) If we apply this technology to autoimmune diseases, but have a receptor that protects the cell instead of attacking, we could make great strides in treatment and quality of life for those with autoimmune diseases.
CAR T-cell therapy is more ideal than other treatments for MS as it is a targeted treatment, meaning it won’t kill off the entire immune system. It is an extension of biologics, which are currently being researched. It could be better than other treatments for autoimmune diseases because it can aim directly at the source instead of hoping the side effects of cancer drugs will treat the disease. However, autoimmune diseases are severely under-researched, and in order to apply this treatment you would need to know the root cause of the disease.