June 20, 2021

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Nature: Engineering T Cells to Conquer Pancreatic Cancer 

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Nature: Engineering T Cells to Conquer Pancreatic Cancer 

Nature: Engineering T Cells to Conquer Pancreatic Cancer 

Nature: Engineering T Cells to Conquer Pancreatic Cancer.  Pancreatic Cancer is a highly malignant gastrointestinal malignant tumor that is difficult to diagnose and treat.

In recent years, the incidence and mortality of pancreatic cancer have increased significantly. The early diagnosis rate of pancreatic cancer is not high, and it is often at an advanced stage when discovered. At this time, cancer cells have spread and are difficult to treat. The 5-year survival rate is less than 7%, which is the most prognostic Poor malignant tumors, so it is also called “the king of cancer.” 

Recently, researchers from the University of Munich in Germany published a research paper titled: T cells armed with C-X-C chemokine receptor type 6 enhance adoptive cell therapy for pancreatic tumours in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering, a sub-Journal of Nature.

The study shows that genetic engineering of T cells to make them highly express CXC chemokine receptor 6 (CXCR6) can enhance the recognition and lysis of pancreatic cancer cells by T cells, thereby enhancing the effect of cancer cell therapy.

Nature: Engineering T Cells to Conquer Pancreatic Cancer 

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest cancers, with a five-year survival rate of only about 7%. The main reason for the high mortality rate of pancreatic cancer is its lack of symptoms before the advanced stage of the cancer, which often leads to the advanced stage when it is discovered. In addition, pancreatic cancer is more likely to metastasize and spread, which makes pancreatic cancer more difficult to treat than most cancers.

In recent years, more and more researches have explored the possibility of CAR-T cell immunotherapy to fight cancer, trying to genetically engineer immune cells to induce them to attack tumors, and many results have been achieved.

For CAR-T therapy to work, first T cells must be able to reach the tumor, and then the tumor can be killed. Tumor cells in the pancreas are usually covered by stromal tissue, so it is difficult to kill them with drugs.

There is no such problem with immune cells, but previous studies have shown that tumors in the pancreas express CXC chemokine ligand 16 (CXCL16). CXCL16 attracts non-T cell immune cells that cannot attack the tumor. The presence of these cells will interfere T cell immune cells capable of launching an attack.

Taking advantage of this feature of pancreatic cancer cells, the research team used genetic engineering to make the surface of T cells highly express CXC chemokine receptor type 6 (CXCR6), which was expressed by pancreatic cancer cells with CXC chemokine ligand 16 (CXCL16) attracts the past, so that T cells reach the pancreatic cancer tissue.

Then, the research team tested the therapeutic effects of this engineered T cell in two different ways. One is to inject engineered T cells into mouse subcutaneous pancreatic tumors. The other is to inject it directly into the mouse orthotopic pancreatic tumor tissue.

Nature: Engineering T Cells to Conquer Pancreatic Cancer 

In both cases, the engineered T cells showed sustained anti-tumor activity and improved the survival rate of mouse models of pancreatic cancer. Encouraged by the results of these experiments, the research team has begun to use this method in clinical trials.

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