Apr 13, 2017

New Artificial Organ Can Be Implanted in the Body to Create Cancer-Fighting Cells

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

  • Researchers at UCLA have created an artificial thymic organoid that generates its own cancer-fighting T cells.
  • While it has not been tested in humans yet, this artificial organ could reduce the time and cost of T cell immunotherapy and make it a more viable option for patients with low white-blood cell counts.

Many artificial organs are being developed as an alternative to donated organs, which are only temporary solutions that require the recipients to maintain a lifetime regiment of medications. With recent advancements in biomedical technologies, the time may be coming when those who require transplants no longer need to wait on donation lists to replace organs like kidneys and blood vessels. And now, scientists have added the thymus to the list of body parts we can artificially simulate.

The thymus is a gland that is essential to your immune system. T cells, a type of white blood cell that helps to get rid of viruses, bacterial infections, and cancer cells, mature within this gland. When people get sick (or as they age), the thymus becomes worse at its job. In some cases, people with different types of cancer are not getting the biological support and help they need from their T cells.

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