Recently, a research report published in the international journal of Lab on a Chip, scientists from the University of California has developed a new type of immunotherapy screening prototype, which may help rapidly develop individualized Cancer therapy to help clinicians effectively target tumor tissue without the side effects of other standard cancer drugs.
Researchers claim that they have developed a tracking screening system that recognizes a single tumor T cell receptor with 100% specificity in just a few days. In the human body's immune system, T cells have special molecules on their surface that can bind to cancer cells or antigens on the surface of exogenous substances. In order to treat tumors with T-cell therapy, researchers must accurately identify which receptor molecules are effective against specific tumor antigens, and researchers have accelerated this identification process.
Professor Zhao, one of the researchers, said that ‘The new technology we have developed is able to cope with the major challenges in cancer treatment, and the use of droplet microfluidic screening technology can significantly reduce the cost of developing new cancer immunotherapies. Meanwhile, the developed treatments have fewer side effects than standard chemotherapy drugs, which may be expected to speed up the treatment of patients. Traditional cancer therapies often provide patients with a one-size-fits-all disease response, such as chemotherapy drugs, which often cause systemic and serious side effects.’
T cell receptor (TCR) engineered T cell therapy is a novel therapy that attacks tumor tissue by modulating the patient's own immune system. There is a special antigenic molecule on the surface of cancer cells, which can be effectively recognized by the body's immune system T cells. This new type of therapy can combine the engineered molecules on the patient's body T cells with the antigens on the surface of cancer cells, thereby promoting T cells to destroy cancer cells. TCR therapy has individualized characteristics, so researchers can develop individualized therapies for their tumor cells based on their own specific T cells.
The antigen-TCR recognition system is also very special, and there are hundreds of millions of different types of TCR molecules. The challenge of current TCR-T cell therapy is still how to effectively identify specific TCR molecules from millions of possibilities. Finding the best pairing can often take a year, however, the cost and time are unaffordable for most cancer patients. With tiny oil-water droplets, the researchers have devised a special device that connects a single T cell to a cancer cell in a microfluidic container so that TCRs that bind to cancer cell antigens can It is classified and identified by scientists within a few days, which is several months or even years faster than previous technologies. Meanwhile, this technology can significantly reduce the cost of making a single TCR, and accelerate the speed of TCR-T cell therapy to the clinic.
Researchers believe the complete platform and screening process could be applied by pharmaceutical companies to develop new drugs that can help radically change the way TCR-T cells treat cancer and can become a powerful tool for discovering other immunotherapies, such as antibodies and CAR-T cell therapy.
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