Promising implications for improving cellular immunotherapy for treatment of cancer

New research from the Trudeau Institute laboratory of Dr. Edward L. Pearce (Washington University) has promising implications for improving a treatment for cancer known as cellular immunotherapy. The findings were just published in the The Journal of Immunology.

“We found that this cellular drug treatment increases the activation period of the immune cells, so that when we inject them back into mice bearing melanoma tumors, we get larger immune responses against the tumors and better control of tumor growth”

One of the major hurdles in treating cancer patients is the fact that most cancers actively suppress our immune system, thereby stifling the patient's ability to fight the disease. To overcome this obstacle, treatments have been designed to harvest immune cells from the cancer patient's blood, activate these cells outside the patient, and then inject the activated cells back into the patient to jumpstart their immune response against the cancer.

Studying melanoma cancer in mice, Trudeau researchers found that activating immune cells in the presence of a class of drugs that affects cell metabolism can further boost the ability of cellular immunotherapy treatments that combat melanoma tumors.

"We found that this cellular drug treatment increases the activation period of the immune cells, so that when we inject them back into mice bearing melanoma tumors, we get larger immune responses against the tumors and better control of tumor growth," said Eyal Amiel, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at Trudeau and lead author of The Journal of Immunology study.

Ongoing investigations from the study's authors will lead to human trials, improving immunotherapy treatments for those effected by many types of cancer.

Source:

 Trudeau Institute

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