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A potentially targetable Achilles' heel of cancer

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A potentially targetable Achilles' heel of cancer

by dumbcritic on Mon Apr 06, 2020 12:16 AM

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Many of the mutations in the DNA of a cancer cell will lead to changes in the proteins expressed on it's surface and these can be recognised by the immune system as 'foreign.' As a consequence, such specific neoantigens can be targeted by different types of immunotherapies, which will attack cancer cells, but shouldn't have an effect on any healthy cells.

In this trial* they take blood from patients and determine by their proprietary method the T cells that recognise neoantigens. They clone these specific TCRs (T cell receptors) and insert them into other T cells.

Currently one neoantigen is targeted, but they plan to target up to three. Data from other TCR-T, TIL and CAR-T trials show ''younger'' T cell phenotypes as well as polyfunctionality (the different effector molecules that they secrete) correlate with the likelihood of responding to the therapy. So they make sure the T cells that are infused are both ''younder'' and polyfunctional.

Also, the product has CD4+ T cells, which in addition to providing help to the CD8+ T cells, can enhance antitumour immunity a number of different ways, such as recruiting and activating certain innate immune cells, tumoricidal NK cells and macrophages.

* Here is the link

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