Attacking cancer tumors with next generation CAR-T cell therapies

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Image: Sam Ogden

In 2017, the first immuno-oncology cell therapies, known as chimeric antigen receptor T cells, or CAR T, were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Immuno-oncology cell therapy is a field that leverages the immune system by modifying, and thereby enhancing, immune cells to target cancer. …

CAR-T therapies have had an unprecedented success in blood cancers, such as certain leukemias and lymphomas.

CAR T therapies have shown limited success in solid tumors, since they do not typically express a molecule on their surface that is unique to the solid tumor and not to normal tissue. This, coupled with the complex matrix in which cancer cells grow, makes it challenging to develop cellular therapies for solid tumors.

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Companies are now exploring how to enhance the body’s naturally occurring TCRs to target solid tumors. Engineering TCRs to have optimal affinity to the docking peptide enables the receptors to more easily identify proteins from cancer cells that would have otherwise not be recognized as foreign.

These engineered TCRs can be put into a patient’s own T cells and then returned to the patient. These newly enhanced T cells can kill tumors, multiply and attack more cancer cells than a patient’s naturally occurring T cells.

Read full, original post: The Next Wave of Immuno-Oncology

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