Vaccine to Supercharge T-Cells

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T cells (red) and B cells (blue) in the lymph nodes, after the vaccine CAR-T cell...
T cells (red) and B cells (blue) in the lymph nodes, after the vaccine CAR-T cell therapy kicks them into overdrive(Credit: Leyuan Ma and Jason Chang)

Our bodies have powerful built-in defenses in the form of the immune system, but sometimes it needs an extra push. Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cell therapy involves reprogramming T-cells to hunt down cancer, which has been effective against blood cancers but not so much against solid tumors. Now, scientists at MIT have found a way to supercharge the technique with a vaccine booster.

CAR-T cell therapy involves removing T cells from a patient, programming them to target proteins found on the surface of cancer cells, then reintroducing them to the body. The technique has proven successful against some forms of leukemia but hasn’t translated well to other types of cancer, particularly solid tumors.

So MIT researchers set out to find a way to boost the effectiveness of CAR-T therapy. Their hypothesis was that the T cells might be shut down by the suppressive environment that tumors tend to build around themselves. They decided to investigate whether a vaccine could help the immune system get through those defenses.

The vaccine they created is designed to rally the CAR-T cells in the lymph nodes to fight the tumor. To do so, the vaccine contains a fatty molecule called a lipid tail that lets the drug travel straight to the lymph nodes, and once there, the active ingredient is an antigen that sends the T cells after the cancer.

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About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).