Health Headlines: Advances in T-cell therapy

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Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 6:30 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - CAR T-cell therapy can be life-saving for some cancer patients, but like most treatments, it can also have serious side effects.

During T-cell therapy, doctors collect a patient’s immune cells, grow and enhance them in a lab, and then inject them back inside the patient to fight the cancer. Typically, patients need to receive chemo and radiation to wipe out their immune system before T-cell therapy, but that could change down the road.

But now, a research team led by UCLA collaborating with scientists from Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania has discovered that engineering T-cells with a lab-made receptor called I-L-9 allows the cancer-fighting cells to do their work without the need for chemo or radiation.

In one model involving mice, the researchers cured more than half of the animals that had been treated with the synthetic I-L-9 receptor T-cells.

It’s a significant breakthrough that could one day allow more patients receiving T-cell therapy to be treated with fewer side effects.

T-cell therapy can be an option for different types of cancer, but it’s most commonly used to treat blood cancers.