T cells created in mice are 100 times more effective against cancer

Magazine Nature has just published a study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Northwestern University about a new technique tested on mice. makes T cells a hundred times more powerful against cancer.

The authors may have found a way to get around the limitations of engineered T cells used in immunotherapy by “borrowing some tricks from cancer itself.” “We used nature’s roadmap to create better T-cell therapy“Summarized by Jaehyuk Choi, who notes that “the superpower that makes cancer cells so strong can be transferred to T-cell therapy to make them powerful enough to destroy what were previously incurable cancers.”

Remember that cell therapy living drugs because they live and grow inside the patient and may provide long-term immunity against cancer.

In this sense, the researchers argue that although current immunotherapies only work against blood and bone marrow cancers, the T cells they have developed are capable of acting against tumors of the skin, lungs and stomach in mice. According to Northwestern, the team has already begun work testing this new approach in humans.

Creating effective immunotherapies against most cancers has proven difficult because the tumor creates a self-sustaining environment, redirecting resources such as oxygen and nutrients to its own benefit. Often, tumors attack the body’s immune systemforcing it to protect the cancer rather than attack it.

This not only reduces the ability of normal T cells to attack cancer cells, but also undermines the effectiveness of modified T cells used in immunotherapy, which quickly tire of protecting the tumor.

For cell treatments to work under these conditions, healthy T cells should have higher capabilities those they can reach naturally, emphasizes Kole Roybal.

To do this, the Northwestern and UCSF teams analyzed 71 mutations found in patients with T-cell lymphoma and determined which ones could improve T-cell therapy in mouse tumor models. Finally, isolated a mutation that turned out to be powerful and non-toxic.and subjected it to a rigorous battery of safety tests.

In the laboratory, researchers confirmed that by inserting the gene encoding this mutation into normal human T cells, made them 100 times more powerful when it comes to killing cancer cells without any signs of toxicity. Then experiments were carried out on rodents.

“Our discoveries allow T cells destroy several types of cancer“says Choi, who says the approach “works better than anything we’ve seen before.” The scientists believe their findings could be incorporated into treatments for many types of cancer.

“We think this is a starting point,” says Roybal, who adds, however, that “there is a lot to learn from nature about how we can improve these cells and adapt them to different types of diseases.”

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