Health Aussie scientists develop drug that re-programs cells to fight...

Aussie scientists develop drug that re-programs cells to fight cancer

-

MELBOURNE — Australian researchers have developed a drug capable of reprogramming the immune system to fight cancer, it was announced today.

The landmark new therapy, developed by the Peter MacCallum Cancer Center, involves removing immune cells from the body to genetically enhance them before putting them back in the body to fight cancer.

The form of immunotherapy has previously been effective in fighting blood cancers but lead scientists, Phillip Darcy and Paul Beavis, found a way to improve its effectiveness against solid tumours for the first time.

Darcy said that the enhanced immune cells, known as CAR T cells, have been ineffective against solid tumours that have been able to produce a metabolite called adenosine, which destroys the cells.

Some tumours have even shown the ability to simply reverse the enhancements placed on the cells, making them revert to T cells, which have little ability to combat the tumours.

“The suppressive tumour environment dampens down the ability of the immune cells so we needed to give the cells something extra to be able to work in those environments,” Darcy told Australian media today.

Researchers successfully trialled a drug in mice that blocks the metabolite, allowing CAR T cells to effectively target tumours.

They are now planning to take the drug into phase one human trials.

“We are really excited by the results and the possibilities emerging from immunotherapy,” Darcy said.

Todd Harper, chief executive officer (CEO) of Cancer Council Victoria, said he is excited about the drug “providing more targeted treatment with fewer side effects”. (Xinhua)

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest news

Hotel quarantine for returning Aussies and ‘hibernation’ assistance for businesses

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra All Australians arriving from overseas will be quarantined in...

Most couples are less satisfied when the woman earns more

By Belinda Hewitt, University of Melbourne and Niels Blom, University of Southampton Women are...

Coronavirus is stressful. Here are some ways to cope with the anxiety

Louise Stone, Australian National University and Katrina McLean, Bond University One of our patients...

Forget more compulsory super: here are 5 ways to actually boost retirement incomes

Brendan Coates, Grattan Institute and Jonathan Nolan, Grattan Institute This morning the Grattan Institute...

Must read

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you