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Cellular Therapy

Cellular therapy is an exciting new field of medicine, where cells are used as living drugs that will continue to grow in the patient to exert and amplify their beneficial effects for the long term. This has been a big revolution in medicine and many patients around the world have been benefitting from the use of cells for treatment.

There are two main categories of cellular therapy: cellular immunotherapy and regenerative medicine.

  1. In cellular immunotherapy, immune cells are grown and ‘trained’ to fight diseases like cancer and infectious diseases by resetting the immune system and/or through genetic modifications of the immune cells.

  2. Regenerative medicine is a fast-growing area of medicine that restores, repairs or replaces damaged cells, tissue or organs in the body. This is particularly relevant for progressive disease conditions such as heart disease, eye degeneration, and neurological and musculoskeletal disorders.

What conditions can be treated with cellular therapy?

The use of cellular therapy is growing and diversifying. Several new cellular therapy products have been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in recent years, with more in the pipeline. The chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR T cell) is one such example. These are patient-derived T cells that undergo genetic modification to express an artificial T cell receptor against an antigen that is expressed on the surface of cancer cells.

Currently, there are five FDA-approved CAR T cells for use in haematological conditions such as:    

  • Acute B-cell lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)
  • Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL)
  • Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL)
  • Multiple myeloma (MM)
At present, patients must have received at least two lines of treatment and not responded before they can receive CAR T-cell therapy.

Who is eligible for CAR T-Cell therapy in Singapore?

Singapore General Hospital was the first centre in Southeast Asia to be approved for the FDA-registered CAR T-cell therapy for ALL and DLBCL. Many of its patients receiving CAR T-cell therapy have attained control of their leukaemias and lymphomas, which were previously resistant to all forms of chemotherapy.


Current indications

Upcoming indications

Potential future indications
(in development)

  • Patients with relapsed and refractory DLBCL after at least two lines of therapy
  • Patients with ALL that have failed conventional chemotherapy
  • Patients with relapsed and refractory MM that have failed multiple lines of treatment
Patients with earlier stages of the aforementioned conditions
  • Patients with other malignancies (including solid tumours)

Our Care Team