Jan 14, 2017

A Direct Infusion Of Immune Cells Could Fight Cancer

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, neuroscience

A new way to treat brain cancer with our own immune cells.

Injecting genetically modified immune cells directly into the brain and spinal fluid has had remarkable effects on a deadly brain cancer

Glioblastoma is a particularly virulent form of brain cancer. Around 20,000 people in the United States are diagnosed each year and the disease typically has poor survival rates. In a new case reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, a man has undergone experimental CAR-T therapy to treat the condition. CAR-T therapy is a branch of immunotherapy, the field taking cancer treatment by storm, and involves infusing genetically modified T cells back into a patient to target cancer cells.

A new hope

50-year-old Richard Grady received the treatment in California, and it involved dripping these specialised cells through a narrow tube into the brain. CAR-T therapy (also called chimeric antigen receptor) involves adding novel receptors on the surface of T cells; allowing them to better recognise and destroy any cancer cells they come across. Grady’s therapy began with surgery to remove 3 larger tumours, and then followed with 6 weekly infusions into the brain.

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