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Mumbai’s Hinduja Hospital Collaborates with ImmunoACT to Launch CAR-T Cell Therapy for Advanced Medical Care

Written by : Varsha Sharma

January 24, 2024

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This therapy is designed for patients aged 15 & above with relapsed or refractory B-cell lymphoma and B-acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Mumbai-based PD Hinduja Hospital has launched CAR-T cell therapy with ImmunoACT for advanced medical care. This therapy involves the use of NexCAR19, which is India’s first gene-modified cell treatment.

Developed by ImmunoACT in collaboration with IIT-Bombay and Tata Memorial Centre, NexCAR19 transforms T-cells into potent cancer fighters, specifically targeting the CD19 protein, providing benefits to patients who were unresponsive to the traditional treatments.

This therapy is designed to address the needs of patients aged 15 and above with relapsed or refractory B-cell lymphoma and B-acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Sharing thoughts, Gautam Khanna, CEO, PD Hinduja Hospital said, “We are proud to be one of the first healthcare institutions in Mumbai to provide our patients with CAR-T cell therapy, a revolutionary new therapeutic option that has the potential to transform the way we treat cancer.”

This move aligns with the hospital’s objective to offer patients with advanced treatment. Further, the partnership aims to enhance accessibility to NexCAR19, contributing to improved treatment outcomes and enhancing the overall quality of life for patients.

How Does CAR-T Cell Therapy Work?

CAR-T therapy is recommended for patients with B-cell lymphomas or B-acute lymphoblastic leukaemia who have not responded to traditional therapies such as chemotherapy, resulting in a relapse or recurrence of cancer.

The therapy directs T cells to target and destroy specific cancer cells. A Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) protein is added to T cells during manufacturing, functioning as a sensor with three parts. First for recognising cancer cell antigens, second for signalling T cell activation upon antigen binding and third for enhancing signal and survival of T cells.

These modified "CAR T cells" are used to scan the cancer cells with the designated antigen. Upon identification, the CAR T cells activate, multiply, and release cytokine signals, rallying other immune system components to join the attack.

This coordinated immune response results in focused inflammation on the cancer cell, leading to targeted destruction. Successful cases may lead to cancer remission, indicating temporary or permanent disappearance. CAR T-cell therapy is a precise strategy that enhances the immune system's accuracy and effectiveness against certain cancers.

On the partnership, Shirish Arya, cofounder & director of business development & corporate strategy, ImmunoACT, said, “Partnering with PD Hinduja Hospital and Medical Research Centre, one of Mumbai’s leaders in consolidated cancer care, will allow us to broaden the accessibility of NexCAR19 to patients. We look forward to actively contributing towards better outcomes and significant improvements in patient’s quality of life through this collaboration.”

Also known as a living drug, the therapy gives considerable advantages and involves swift, single-infusion treatment, improving the quality of life for many patients at almost one-tenth the cost commercially available worldwide.

Innovations Transforming Cancer Care

Recently, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital introduced High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) technology for prostate cancer treatment. The procedure utilised high-frequency sound waves in focal ablation, marking a notable advancement in cancer care. The technology also proved beneficial for patients seeking salvage treatment post previous interventions like radiation.

In November, Terumo India introduced Occlusafe and LifePearl therapy devices for liver cancer management. These devices work on advanced techniques such as Balloon-TACE, enabling precise chemotherapy delivery to tumors, and minimising damage to healthy tissues. With over 20,000 new cases of hepatocellular carcinoma reported annually in India, these innovations aim to provide effective, minimally invasive options, potentially improving response rates and preserving liver function.

In October 2023, IIIT-Hyderabad, in collaboration with INAI, developed an AI-powered smartphone tool for early oral cancer screening. This cost-effective solution aims to detect abnormal lesions before they turn malignant, offering a higher chance of survival for those at risk. The model leverages AI and smartphone ubiquity to provide an efficient approach to combat oral cancer, particularly crucial for early intervention against potentially malignant disorders.


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