Credit: Illustration, Survivornet
Harnessing the body’s own ability to seek and destroy cancer cells has been one of the most promising methods of treating blood cancers, like leukaemia.
The expensive technology reprogrammes a patient’s immune cells, called T-cells, and then returns them back into the patient where they can eradiate the cancer cells. This personalised method, which produces chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, is effective with blood cancers. It has been approved by the FDA in USA and NICE for the NHS in UK.
This targeted therapy does not work well on solid cancer tumours and a number of pharmaceutical companies are working to find a CAR-T cell therapy for solid cancer tumours which works and is not prohibitively expensive.
Now researchers at Stanford University, USA, have created a gel that can be injected adjacent to, or even far away from, a solid cancer tumour and entirely destroy it. The hydrogel-based treatment promises to bring down the cost of CAR-T cell therapy because fewer cells need to be made outside the patient’s body. The gel is made up of only two simple components and can be injected, direct into a patient’s vein rather than being delivered by intravenous therapy, (IV),.
Abigail Grosskopf, lead author of the study at Stanford University, commented: ‘’We need to do some more preclinical work, but I think there’s a lot of promise for it.” Let us hope that pre-clinical work will soon be completed successfully, so that clinical trials can commence.
Car-T Gel Factory Promises to Improve Tumour Destruction
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The three obstacles stopping Cell Therapy becoming mainstream.