A form of immunotherapy is making headway in the fight against cancer. Known as CAR T-cell therapy, it involves the modification of a patient’s immune system cells to help them locate and attack cancer cells. Although this treatment is relatively new, it is already changing cancer patients’ lives for the better and catching the attention of researchers who hope to further apply its uses.
T- cells are subtypes of white blood cells that are an important part of the immune response. They are specialized in killing off abnormal cells, but for some reason they do not always recognize cancer cells as a threat. As they are unable to fight off cancer on their own, they must be modified, which is where the “CAR” part of the therapy comes into play.
The T-cells are extracted from patients’ blood for modification in the laboratory. Laboratory freezers help to preserve the cells during storage, and afterward they are genetically engineered to form a synthetic receptor on their surface (known as chimeric antigen receptors). The CAR’s guide the modified T-cells and enable them to seek out and destroy cancer cells by attaching to surface antigens (usually CD19 molecules). Many patients show no signs of recurrence even long after the treatment, as the cells are programmed to permanently recognize cancer cells and destroy them should they return.
CAR T-cell therapy is an emerging solution that offers hope to cancer patients who previously had none. The entire scope of its uses has not yet been explored, but further research will reveal how we can reap even more benefits from this form of adoptive cell therapy.
Custom Biogenic Systems provides patented isothermal freezers and storage racks to these research facilities so that they can make the most of their time contributing to the medical community. The liquid nitrogen jacket ensures the safety of the T-cells because they never come into direct contact with the liquid, and the racks provide an organized way of storing and retrieving samples.
To view these freezers and our other equipment, visit www.custombiogenics.com.