【Editor’s Note: In this interview, we had the privilege of speaking with Prof. HUANG He, President of the First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine (FAHZU), Director of the Institute of Hematology, Zhejiang University, Member of Executive Committee, Asia-Pacific Bone Marrow Transplantation Group (APBMT), and Member of American Society of Hematology (ASH) and European Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT). With a focus on CAR-T cell therapy, Prof. Huang shares insights into his team’s innovative research, recent advancements, and clinical achievements. He also emphasizes the importance of international collaboration in advancing CAR-T cell therapy.】
Q: Please describe your research？
A: Our team conducts extensive and innovative research on CAR-T cell therapy. By leveraging cutting-edge technologies such as gene editing, single-cell sequencing, and synthetic biology, we have successfully overcome technical bottlenecks in safety, targeted cytotoxic function, and duration. We have developed a series of novel CAR-T cells that achieve significant technological advancement in enhancing CAR-T cell function, precise regulation, and universal application. Our integrated platform has the potential to promote both basic research and clinical applications.
Q: What novel advancements have you achieved recently?
A: By using non-viral transfection techniques, we have constructed PD1-integrated CAR-T cells, which eliminates the risk of random insertion of virus transfection and ensures clinical feasibility. By incorporating immune-checkpoint knockout, we remove the inhibition of the tumor immune microenvironment on the function of CAR-T cells, resulting in prolonged survival and excellent tumor clearance in patients.
Q: What is the achievement in clinical treatment?
A: We have achieved remarkable success in CAR-T cell therapy for relapsed/refractory hematological malignancies by focusing on the development of new targets. Our results are outstanding with complete response rates reaching 92%, 87.5%, and 70.3% in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and multiple myeloma, respectively. Our success has drawn patients from various countries and regions such as Switzerland, Israel, Singapore, Malaysia, Lebanon, among others, to seek CAR-T cell therapy at FAHZU.
Q: How is international collaboration important to your research?
A: Over the past few decades, CAR-T cell therapy has achieved remarkable success thanks to global efforts. For instance, our team has collaborated with the EBMT for several years, which is one of the largest and most influential international organizations in the field of blood and marrow transplantation. Currently, we are in the process of establishing a peak discipline group in collaboration with leading physicians and scientists from France, Israel, and around the world. This international network will focus on promoting innovation and clinical translation of CAR-T cell therapy, with extensive and in-depth cooperation expected in the future. We anticipate that this joint effort will provide more solutions to alleviate suffering and improve well-being.
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