Patient derived anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor-T (CAR-T) cells are a powerful tool in achieving a complete remission in a range of B-cell malignancies, most notably B-acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (B-ALL) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). However, there are limitations, including inability to manufacture CAR-T cells from the patient’s own T cells, disease progression and death prior to return of engineered cells. T cell dysfunction is known to occur in cancer patients, and several groups have recently described differences in CAR-T cells generated from chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) patients compared with those from a healthy donor. This is thought to contribute to the low response rate in this disease group. Healthy donor, gene-edited CAR-T cells which do not require human leucocyte antigen (HLA) matching have the potential to provide an ‘off the shelf’ product, overcoming the manufacturing difficulties of producing CAR-T cells for each individual patient. They may also provide a more functional, potent product for malignancies such as CLL, where T cell dysfunction is common and frequently cannot be fully reversed during the manufacturing process. Here we review the potential benefits and obstacles for healthy donor, allogeneic CAR-T cells.
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