A newly discovered type of killer immune cell has raised the prospect of a “universal” cancer therapy, scientists say.
Researchers at Cardiff University suggest the new T-cell offers hope of a “one-size-fits-all” cancer therapy.
T-cell therapies for cancer - where immune cells are removed, modified and returned to the patient"s blood to seek and destroy cancer cells - are the latest paradigm in cancer treatments.
The most widely used is known as CAR-T and is personalised to each patient. However, it only targets a limited number of cancers and has not been successful for solid tumors, which make up the majority of cancers.
But scientists have now discovered T-cells equipped with a new type of T-cell receptor which recognizes and kills most human cancer types, while ignoring healthy cells. It recognizes a molecule present on the surface of a wide range of cancer cells, and normal cells, and is able to distinguish between healthy and cancerous cells - killing only the latter.