Breakthrough Cancer Treatment Raises the Bar for Tailored Medicine - medtigo



Breakthrough Cancer Treatment Raises the Bar for Tailored Medicine

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Finding a cure for cancer is undeniably one of the most pressing challenges in today’s society. However, considerable new cancer research has developed in the last two decades. Scientists, pharmaceutical firms, and hospitals worldwide have achieved significant advances in cancer prevention, detection, treatment, and survival.  

According to USA Today, since the considerable variety in the presentation and duration of diseases, conventional therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation can only serve a small proportion of people. Precision and customized medicine, in which treatment is tailored to each patient, is a rapidly expanding discipline since tumors can arise from various causes.

However, until personalized therapy becomes widely available, a wide range of aggressive drugs will be necessary to combat cancer successfully. Tailored medicine has been a trend for some time, but recent advances in cancer therapy have taken it to a new level.  

Dr. Michel Sadelain, director of the Center for Cell Engineering at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, who was not involved in the research, praised the findings as “a glimpse into the future of cancer therapy.” According to Sadelain, the study demonstrates the feasibility and safety of a tailored strategy to turn the immune system against cancer.  

Dr. Antoni Ribas, one of the project’s main coordinators, described it as the most challenging operation he had ever performed. Furthermore, it exhibited no therapeutic or curative benefits in this pilot study of 16 people.  

However, there is hope that a new era in cancer therapy is on the horizon because of the possibility of providing patients with successful treatment tailored to their unique needs.  

“If we properly switch on the immune system,” said Ribas, a UCLA professor of medicine and director of UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, “the immune system has memory and can lead to long-term responses.”  

He claimed we’d devised a new cell treatment technique that simultaneously addresses many issues. We need to figure out how to enhance it right now for it to be the best it can be.  

Humans suffering from fatal diseases have had their immune systems reprogrammed to target their tumors. Despite the limited sample size of only 16 patients, experts welcomed the pilot study’s findings as a “strong” indication of the technology’s potential.  


Each patient’s treatment approach was designed to exploit the tumor’s vulnerabilities. The therapy is time-consuming and costly, and its effectiveness is currently being debated. This study focuses on T-cells, which function as immune system auditors. Their cells employ receptor proteins to detect signals of infection or malignant alteration.  

The body’s T-cell immune system sometimes misses malignancy. Cancer is more subtle than a viral infection because it takes the form of aberrant human cells rather than an entirely alien intruder. The therapy aims to increase the patient’s supply of T-cells capable of detecting malignancy.

Every patient’s tumor is distinct, necessitating personalized treatment. The researchers searched the patients’ blood for uncommon T-cells with receptors that might recognize their malignancy. They manipulated other T-cells that had previously been unable to detect the tumor. 

Cancer-seeking T-cell receptors replaced their regular counterparts, possibly boosting accuracy. The next stage was to reinject the patient’s modified T-cells into their body, where they would seek out and destroy the tumor. One of the first stages in transforming T-cells into cancer-hunting cells is to replace the genetic instructions for generating their old receptors with instructions for the new ones.  

The remarkable similarity between cancer cells and healthy cells presents a significant obstacle in the battle against cancer. Even though radiation and chemotherapy are highly focused, they destroy enough healthy cells to induce sickness.  

The cancer spreads in ways similar to how viruses spread. Wucherpfennig, a research observer, observed, “It’s extremely critical to try to predict what the tumor’s escape mechanisms are so you can avoid them.” Ribas and his colleagues at PACT Pharma, a biotech startup in South San Francisco, employed four cutting-edge approaches to identify cancer cells from healthy cells.  

As Sadelain indicated, they were able to examine genetic changes in tumor cells. The identifiable immune cells from the patient’s immune system were then isolated. This enabled them to hone down on the processes responsible for those immune cells’ efficiency. Finally, they changed the patient’s DNA to increase the number of immune cells capable of identifying and destroying cancer cells.  

Sadelain summarized the findings, saying, “What it demonstrates is that this is achievable. Your efforts will be rewarded when you can give some of your patient’s cell therapy.” 





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