OCT 03, 2019 5:16 PM PDT

Scientists develop a single delivery immunotherapy threatment

Research published recently in Cell Stem Cell details the results from a new anticancer immunotherapy that uses invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells. The findings highlight the potential of iNKT cells to fight against many different types of cancer cells by suppressing tumor growth.

Led by researchers at UCLA, the research focused on iNKT cells because of their immune system capabilities. As Senior author Lili Yang, Ph.D. explains, "They are very powerful cells, but they're naturally present in such small numbers in the human blood that they usually can't make a therapeutic difference." The researchers wanted to find out if increasing the natural level of iNKT cells in the body would help fight cancer cells.

In conducting the research, the team used different mouse models to test out a therapy that stimulates the production of iNKT cells by way of hematopoietic stem cells from bone marrow. The resulting cells they named "hematopoietic stem cell-engineered invariant natural killer T cells" (or, HSC-iNKT). The most imperative part of this breakthrough is that the HSC-iNKT cells continued to be produced throughout the mouse models’ lives, meaning that the therapy could be a single-delivery cell therapy capable of giving patients a lifelong supply of iNKT cells!

"What's really exciting is that we can give this treatment just once, and it increases the number of iNKT cells to levels that can fight cancer for the lifetime of the animal," comments Dr. Yang.

Researchers use iNKT cells to develop new anticancer immunotherapy. Photo: Pixabay

Not only was the process of producing iNKT cells from HSC-iNKT cells successful, but the animal models also showed significant suppression of both multiple myeloma and melanoma tumor growth, the two types of cancer that the researchers were testing.

Although this treatment was only tested on animal models and has yet to reach human clinical trials, the researchers hope that their findings could be a ray of light for cancer patients in the future.

Sources: Cell Stem Cell, Medical News Today

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
NOV 20, 2019
Clinical & Molecular DX
NOV 20, 2019
New diagnostic technology seeks out cancer DNA in blood
For many cancers, early detection has a tremendous impact on patient outcomes. Yet, sadly, many of the most common malignancies, like those of the stomach,...
DEC 10, 2019
Cancer
DEC 10, 2019
Using anthrax to fight cancer?
Surprising research published recently in the International Journal of Cancer says anthrax may act as a potential bladder cancer treatment. Yes, you read c...
JAN 07, 2020
Immunology
JAN 07, 2020
"Good" T Cells Can Go "Bad," But in the Case of Cancer, That's A Good Thing
T cells may be able to reach their full potential in the fight against cancer with a little nudge. In 2010, scientists first observed CD4+ T cells transiti...
JAN 11, 2020
Cancer
JAN 11, 2020
Should we be concerned about talc powder and ovarian cancer?
After the outcry against baby powder and concerns regarding its link to ovarian cancer, still, no investigations have clearly linked the product to the dis...
JAN 21, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
JAN 21, 2020
Drug Targets Gastrointestinal Cancer
The FDA has recently approved Ayvakit (avapritinib) for the treatment of unresectable and metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) that occurs most...
FEB 02, 2020
Cancer
FEB 02, 2020
These cosmetics damage breast cells' DNA
A new approach to studying the effects of two common chemicals used in cosmetics and sunscreens found they can cause DNA damage in breast cells at surprisi...
Loading Comments...