This company wants to freeze your T cells for future cancer treatments. Experts call the idea ‘unproven’

cell vault m
Image: Cell Vault

A new cryopreservation bank offers customers the chance to stash away their T cells for use in future cancer treatments. Using a similar model to cord blood banks, the startup Cell Vault announced that it has already raised $1 million from Silicon Valley investors in an initial round of funding. The field of T cell–based cancer therapies has rapidly blossomed in recent years, but at this point, scientists doubt the utility of stowing healthy T cells in a freezer, just in case.    

Cell Vault proposes that, once frozen, customers’ T cells can be readily available for adoptive cell transfer, an emerging form of cancer treatment. 

The International Society for Cell and Gene Therapy (ISCT) has taken a hard stance. On August 7, the organization issued a statement objecting to the marketing of “unproven T-cell preservation services.” The release presented a list of technical, regulatory, and ethical concerns surrounding third-party T cell banks, including several voiced by ISCT President-Elect Bruce Levine.


Related article:  Using patient registries to track effectiveness of cell and gene therapy trials

“I’m personally concerned about patients, and even healthy donors,” Levine tells The Scientist. “This company, other companies, they cannot point to an example of a company with a commercial product that accepts what they collect.”

Read full, original post: Immune Cell Bank Bets on Future CAR T Success

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