Engineered Immune Cells Shrink Tumors

Posted on August 31, 2006  Comments (0)

Tumors Shrunk by Engineered Immune Cells, Scientists Say by Stefan Lovgren, on an extermintal treatment with 17 patients so far:

“This is the first example of an effective gene therapy that works in cancer patients,” said Steven Rosenberg, chief of surgery at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, and leader of the research team.

The therapy has so far been applied only to melanoma patients. But the researchers are optimistic that their treatment can be used for many other types of cancer.

The team has already engineered similar immune cells for more common tumors, such as breast, lung, and liver cancers.

His team focused on T (thymus) cells, a type of specialized immune cell that can learn to recognize and attack specific “foreign” objects, such as the cancer cells that make up tumors.

In the new study, researchers created tumor-fighting cells by harvesting normal T cells from melanoma patients and genetically engineering these cells to carry receptor proteins on their surfaces that recognize cancer markers.

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