CAR-T cells are serial killers.
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells have enjoyed unprecedented clinical success against haematological malignancies in recent years. However, several aspects of CAR T cell biology remain unknown. We recently compared CAR and T cell receptor (TCR)-based killing in the same effector cell and showed that CAR T cells can not only efficiently kill single tumor targets, they can also kill multiple tumor targets in a sequential manner. Single and serial killing events were not sustained long term due to CAR down-regulation after 20 hours.