Cardiff University researchers who worked on the discovery
T-cell cancer treatments are the latest model in cancer treatments, as immune cells are removed, modified and returned to the patient’s blood to search for and destroy cancer cells.
The most widely used treatment, known as CAR-T, is assigned to each patient, but it only targets a few types of cancers, and has not managed to treat solid tumors, which account for the vast majority of cancers.
Cardiff researchers have now discovered T cells equipped with a new type of T cell receptor (TCR) that recognize and kill most human cancers while ignoring healthy cells.
TCR identifies a molecule present on the surface of a wide range of cancer cells as well as in many natural cells in the body, but remarkably, it is able to distinguish between healthy cells and cancer cells, which leads to killing only the last cells.
This means that it provides “exciting opportunities for immunotherapy to cancer of the general population,” which was previously not believed to be possible, the researchers said.