Leap in Personalized Cancer Treatment

Involvement in Personalized Cancer Treatment
Involvement in Personalized Cancer Treatment

People with incurable diseases have their immune systems modified to target their own tumors.
Although the discovery study only included 16 patients, it is considered a "leap forward" and a "strong" example of the technology's potential.
Each patient received a customized treatment plan that focused on the tumor's specific weak points.
The effectiveness of the treatment, which is costly and time-consuming, has not yet been fully determined.
The study focuses on T cells that patrol the body and look for problems in other cells as a subset of the immune system.
Using proteins called receptors, they successfully sniff for infection signals or abnormal cells that have become malignant.

T-cells may have difficulty detecting cancers. Cancers are more subtle because they are a deformed version of our own cells rather than a virus unique to the human body.
The goal of treatment is to increase the number of these T cells that can detect malignancy. Because every tumor is different, it needs to be customized for each patient.

The process works like this:

Researchers looked for rare T cells in patient blood that have receptors that can detect their cancer.
They then modified other T cells that failed to detect malignancy after collection.
Its initial receptors, which can detect other problems or infections, have been replaced with those of T cells that seek only malignancy.

These modified T-cells were then reinoculated into the patient to locate the tumor.
To transform T-cells into a form capable of preying on cancer requires extensive genetic engineering, both to remove the genetic instructions on T-cells to create old receptors and to provide them with instructions for new ones.

What is Crispr?

This has become possible thanks to significant advances in Crispr, a gene-editing tool that functions like a pair of molecular scissors and allows scientists to easily manipulate DNA. The scientists who created Crispr in 2020 were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Participants in the trial had malignancies of the colon, breast, or lung that did not respond to previous treatments.

The research, aimed at assessing the feasibility and safety of the technology, revealed that the modified cells entered the tumor.

While the condition continued to worsen in 11 people, it stabilized in the other 5 people. Additional research will be required to determine the appropriate dose and actual effectiveness.

A researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles, who tested the strategy created by the Pact Pharma company, Dr. According to Antoni Ribas, “this is a great advance towards creating a personalized treatment for cancer.”

The findings were made public simultaneously in the journal Nature and at a meeting of the Association for Cancer Immunotherapy.

Head of immunology at Clinic Hospital in Barcelona, ​​Dr. According to Manel Juan, it's "incredible work" and arguably one of the most cutting-edge technologies in the profession.
“This opens the door for personalized [method] to be used in many different types of cancer and possibly many other diseases,” he continued.

One-year-old cancer patient's disease was reversed by "designer cells".

Professor Waseem Qasim, who provided life-saving engineered immune systems to Great Ormond Street Hospital patients, described the work as "a powerful early demonstration of what's possible with advancing technology".

From the Cancer Research Institute in London, Dr. According to Astero Klampatsa, the work is “important” but “enormous” in terms of “time, effort and price”.

Source: BBC

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