18th April 2016
Most of the dramatic new cancer treatments that are showing positive results, involve taking a patient's immune cells and using them to combat their disease.
According to Cancer Research UK, these adoptive cell therapies are providing the most dramatic results in patients who have lymphomas and leukaemias.
Having said this, they don't work for everyone because cancer cells can develop the ability to switch off the immunity cells that make an attempt to destroy them. Basically, they are resistant to any form of treatment.
However, another area that looks promising has been the use of drugs that block cancer cells from fighting against these immunity cells.
They are known as checkpoint inhibitors and have shown good responses against melanoma and lung cancers.
A team of scientists at the University College London Cancer Institute is attempting to create a cell-based therapy that can ignore a tumour's attempts to switch it off.
The team is engineering immune cells that will hopefully no longer necessitate combining cell therapies with checkpoint drugs, as doing this can have debilitating effects on the patient.
Posted by Philip Briggs
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