Strategic development of CAR-T therapies for the treatment of hematological and solid tumors

Adoptive cell therapy with T lymphocytes genetically modified for the expression of chimeric antigen receptors (CAR-T) is one of the most promising advanced therapies for the treatment of cancer.

However, despite the great expectation that CAR-T cells are generating for the treatment of some hematological malignancies, so far, only two of these products have received approval for use in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Moreover, the efficacy of CAR-T in solid tumors, where the tumor microenvironment and tissue characteristics hinder the action of the immune system, is still highly unsatisfactory.

The DESCARTHeS project aims to develop key technological platforms for the present and future development of CAR-T cell-based anti-tumor therapies in Navarra. The development of specific CAR-T cell therapy for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or for patients with prostate cancer will be the main objective of this project. But at the same time, the development of this global project aims to establish a facilitating platform for the future development of new CAR-Ts for other hematological malignancies and gastrointestinal cancers.

This research is funded by the Government of Navarra for strategic R&D projects and involves two research organizations (FIMA/CIMA and FMS/Navarrabiomed), a biotechnology company from Navarra (Recombina Biotech) and two hospitals (the Complejo Hospitalario de Navarra and the Clínica Universidad de Navarra).

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Coordinator and partners

Project coordinator: 

  • FIMA through Cima Universidad de Navarra

Project partners:

  • Clínica Universidad de Navarra
  • Navarra Hospital Complex
  • Miguel Servet Foundation through Navarrabiomed
  • Recombina Biotech

Objectives of the DESCARTHeS consortium

Specialized teams to achieve the objective

Identification of therapeutic targets

for the development of CARTs in hematological, urological and gastrointestinal tumors.

Development of new CARTs designs

pto increase the efficacy, survival, persistence, and safety of CART cell therapy.

Therapeutic evaluation and mechanistic studies

in preclinical predictive models for the treatment of AML or prostate cancer.

of the manufacturing

manufacturing, fabrication and transportation of CARTs for clinical use.

Icono equipo profesionales Project participants

  • Juan José Lasarte
  • Teresa Lozano
  • Sandra Hervás
  • Flor Navarro
  • Aritz Lasarte
  • Enric Vercher
  • Enrique Conde
  • Noelia Casares
  • Ibon Tamayo
  • Felipe Prósper
  • Ana Alfonso
  • Paula Rodríguez Otero
  • José Rifón
  • Susana Inogés
  • Ascensión López-Díaz de Cerio
  • Juanro Rodríguez
  • Óscar González
  • Cristina Calviño
  • Mª Luisa Calviño
  • Ignacio Gil Bazo
  • Enrique Andreu
  • Paula Rodríguez Márquez
  • Ángel Martín
  • Diego Salas
  • Mariano Ponz
  • Miguel F. Sanmamed
  • José Mª López Picazo
  • Javier Rodríguez
  • Marta Santisteban
  • Ruth Vera
  • Mª Carmen Mateos Rodríguez
  • Ana Margarita Redondo Izal
  • Mª Teresa Zudaire Ripa
  • Mª Cruz Viguria Alegría
  • José María Arguiñano Pérez
  • Amaya Zabalza San Martín
  • Piva Sánchez Antón
  • Mª Luisa Antelo Caamaño
  • Pablo Rodríguez Wilhemi
  • Cristina Alburquerque Prieto
  • Nuria Lainez
  • Blai Signes
  • Hugo Arasanz
  • David Escors Murugarren
  • Grazyna Kochan
  • Ana Bocanegra
  • Luisa Chocarro
  • Isabel Gil Aldea
  • Natalia Ramírez Huerto
  • María Manuela Peñas
  • Leire García