Published By : 22 Jan 2019 | Published By : QYRESEARCH
A group of researchers from UCLA recently conducted a study to kill tumor cells. To that end they used pluripotent stem cells which can produce almost every type of body cell. It can also be grown in the lab indefinitely. The researchers found that pluripotent stem cells after becoming mature T cells could zap tumor cells.
The researchers used a technique named artificial thymic organoids. Those function by aping the environment of the thymus. Thymus is the organ wherein T cells grow from stem cells in the blood. The T cells actually form the immune system and thus help in battling infections. They are also useful in terminating cancer cells.
The Myriad Benefits of T Cells
The new technique could also bring about new methods of cancer immunotherapy. It could also pave the way for further research on therapies using T cell. Those can be applied for curing autoimmune diseases and HIV.
However, the biggest contribution of the technique is its ability to help in gene editing to generate almost unlimited supply of T cells. Those, in turn, can be used for an array of patients. One need not use the patients own T cells either.
So far, T cell therapies such as CAR T-cell therapy have exhibited tremendous potential in curing certain kinds of cancer. At present, those are mainly collected from a patient for genetic engineering with a receptor. This enables in recognizing and destroying cancer cells. It also entails introducing the healthy cells back into the patient.
The current technology does not, however, collect the cells from the patients. This would eventually make T cell therapies affordable and easily accessible.