March 5, 2017 at 6:54 pm #94282gavinModerator
Thanks for that Marion. Great info and very useful indeed.
GavinMarch 4, 2017 at 5:00 am #13093marionsModerator
For years, the cornerstones of cancer treatment have been surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Over the last decade, drugs that target cancer cells by homing in on specific molecular changes seen primarily in those cells, have also emerged as standard treatments for a number of cancers.
The fifths promising treatments are therapies that harness the power of a patient’s immune system to combat their disease. This approach to immunotherapy involves engineering patients’ own immune cells to recognize and attack their tumors. And although this approach, called adoptive cell transfer (ACT), has been restricted to small clinical trials so far, treatments using these engineered immune cells have generated some remarkable responses in patients with advanced cancer.
There are two types of adoptive cell transfer focused on T cells collected from the patient’s own blood and clinical trials are underway for both.
1. CAR T-Cell Therapy
After collection, the T cells are genetically engineered to produce special receptors on their surface called chimeric antigen receptors (CARs). CARs are proteins that allow the T cells to recognize a specific protein (antigen) on tumor cells. These engineered CAR T cells are then grown in the laboratory until they number in the billions.
The expanded population of CAR T cells is then infused into the patient. After the infusion, if all goes as planned, the T cells multiply in the patient’s body and, with guidance from their engineered receptor, recognize and kill cancer cells that harbor the antigen on their surfaces.
Investigators working in this field caution that there is still much to learn about CAR T-cell therapy. But the early results from trials like these have generated considerable optimism.
2. Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocyte (TIL) which are white blood cells that have left the bloodstream and migrated to the tumor.
TIL entails collecting lymphocytes from patients’ tumor samples, performing tests to identify the cells with the greatest anti-tumor activity, and then growing those particular cells in the laboratory over a period of weeks.
In this one-time-only treatment, the newly grown lymphocytes, composed primarily of T cells, are infused into the patient along with a cytokine (an immune-stimulating agent) called interleukin-2
Note: This is the treatment our very own Melinda had such great success with.
There are clearly challenges to making TIL therapy more broadly available, Dr. Rosenberg acknowledged. But with further research, support, and experience, they can be overcome, he believes.
To learn more about CART-T Cell use this link:
https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/tre … ar-t-cells
To learn more about Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes use this link:
https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/tre … l-transfer
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