China: The stem cell programming technique helps to attack and kill cancer
- Tram Ho
Chinese scientists believe they have access to an endless source of T cells to fight cancer.
In a study recently published in the journal Cell Research, Chinese scientists claimed they had taken a big step when reprogramming stem cells, helping them hunt and kill cancer cells. .
Professor Wang Jinyong and colleagues from the Guangzhou Institute of Biomedical and Health said that the technique was successfully tested on small animals. Specifically, they treated mice with thymus cancer, a central organ of the body’s immune system.
According to the results of the research, the team used stem cells to create immune cells that would later develop into T cells. These cells were originally born in the thymus and play a central role in Immune system effects of the body.
After the cancer mice were infused with these new cells, their tumors disappeared. And because T cells are capable of remembering pathogens, mice are thought to be immune to this cancer for life.
In a statement on the website of the Guangzhou Institute of Biomedical and Health, Professor Jinyong’s team said their immune therapy could lead to a breakthrough in cancer treatment.
In fact, immune therapies are becoming increasingly common in our fight against cancer.
While the use of T cells to fight cancer cells is not new, they are usually only extracted from human blood rather than made from stem cells. In addition, the cost of this extraction process is very high, up to thousands of dollars even when it is made in China.
Once the immune cells are extracted, they must be programmed, or genetically modified, to target cancer cells, and this is still a technical challenge. In addition, some patients simply cannot make enough immune cells because of their poor health at the time of treatment.
Instead of trying to create mature T cells, the Chinese team has programmed stem cells to become their precursors, cells that will develop into T cells after a while.
The technology ” can successfully replicate a complete T-cell immune system containing T-cell groups capable of performing a variety of functions, ” the report said.
That means the team has ” an endless source of T cells … to form a large army with regenerated immunity to protect the body” .
Commenting on the new research, Professor Wang Shengdian working at the Institute of Biophysics in Beijing said: In recent years, scientists have made some significant breakthroughs in the fight against cancer. letter.
For example, with the help of immunotherapy, patients with certain types of blood cancer now have a 90% chance of defeating their disease, Professor Shengdian said.
While the team, led by Professor Wang Jinyong, was unsuccessful in creating a complete T-cell, they took an important step toward that goal. Shengdian said the important thing to do now is to figure out how to create specific T-cells that can attack different types of cancer.
” The biggest challenge is finding the exact target for the T-cells, otherwise they just fly around like guided missiles ,” he said.
Source : GenK