A team of researchers from Cardiff University, UK, has made a groundbreaking discovery that could result in global cancer treatment. It would be a holy grail medication that can kill many kinds of cancer. While testing the medication on mice, the team has revealed a new type of so-called T-cells. Notably, the cells can detect a variety of cancerous cells, while separating them from healthy cells. Researchers hope to use those cells to build a universal approach to treat the disease. Currently, the testing is at the primary stage. The scientists have experimented with mice as well as human cells in the laboratory.
A T-cell is a kind of WBC (White Blood Cell) present in the immune system which helps to fight against infections. While treating cancer with T-cells, doctors remove immune cells from the patient’s blood. After that, they modify the cells and inject them back into the patient’s bloodstream. These modified immune cells then seek for the cancer cells and destroy them. Notably, T-cell therapies are the latest prototype in cancer treatments. The most broadly used treatment, CAR-T, is customized to each patient, but it can aim at only a few kinds of cancers. Besides, CAR-T has not offered successful results for solid tumors, which form the vast majority of cancers.
The research, published in the journal Nature Immunotherapy, reveals the latest discovery of T-cells to combat cancer. Cardiff scientists have found T-Cells armed with a new kind of TCR or T-cell receptor that determines and destroys most human cancer forms. Most importantly, TCR has the potential to differentiate between cancerous and healthy cells. The scientists have used CRISPR-Cas9 testing to find the latest type of TCR in T-cells – MR1. It is nothing but a receptor module that works the same as HLA when it comes to scanning and spotting cancer cells. For the prototype, now in the primary phase, the team aims to organize forthcoming clinical trials. Even more, they seek to learn more regarding the mechanisms that allow MR1 to spot cancer cells molecularly. The leading author of the study, Andrew Sewell, said, treating cancer through MR1-controlled T-cells is the latest amazing edge.