In this episode of The Onco’Zine Brief Peter Hofland, Ph.D and Sonia Portillo are speaking with Joshua A. Hill, MD, an Associate in Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle Washington. Dr. Hill is also an attending physician at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, as well as an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington.

In today’s show Hofland and Portillo ask Dr. Hill about CAR T cell therapy- a technology that holds very high expectations for the future of cancer care. In a number of clinical trials in certain severe cancer types, CAR-Ts have shown remission rates up to 94%, which is very impressive considering most patients in CAR T trials have not responded to many, if not all other available treatments.

The first two CAR-T have recently been approved- and now there are over 240 CAR-T clinical trials that are ongoing. And while the CAR-T field is booming, and the technology is very exciting, there are severe side effects in clinical trials that lead us to believe the technology might not be ready, or might not be worth it’s very high price tag.

Hofland and Portillo speak with Dr. Hill about some of his research regarding the risk of infection in CAR T patients, as well as his perspective on where this technology is going in the near future.

And finally, Hofland and Portillo talk about a new book – A Cure Within, published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press and written by veteran journalist and author Neil Canavan.

Canavan’s book discusses the power of the immune system and tells the story of a the tenacious few medical scientists who refused to abandon novel scientific concepts.

Based entirely on interviews with medical researchers the book tells the story of the pioneers of immuno-oncology. It’s a story of failure, resurrection and success.

But above all, it’s a story about discovery and intuition and cunning. It’s a peek into the lives and thoughts of some of the most gifted men and women – the medical scientists – who are, on a daily basis – working hard to find a Cure for Cancer.