Researchers examine potent of stem cells for stronger anti-cancer therapies

Over the decades cancer therapies have witnessed immense development. Chemotherapies and radiotherapies have saved countless lives, but the latest, adoptive cell therapies have stirred most excitement. For Adoptive cell therapies (ACT), cells are processed to improve their effects of anti-cancer immunity and injected into the patient.

A study undertaken by a team of researchers demonstrates how iPS cell technology can generate some of the most potent anti-cancer immune cells for adoptive cell therapies.

For ACT, T cells are the primary cells that are used. This is because T cells are the immune cells in the body that are most capable of destroying cancer. However, current approaches to use T cells have several limitations that restricts the number of patients who can benefit.

In fact, T cells needs to be processed before they can be injected into the patient. This affects the quality of cells. If the cells are first processed as iPS cells and then differentiated into T cells, a number of problems can be avoided.

If the approach appears promising, generating T cells from iPS cells is not insignificant. The team of researchers have reported many studies wherein iPS cells were differentiated into cells like T cells. This implies the T cells demonstrated behavior that suggests they are chimeras of T cells and other cells of the immune system.

The inherent properties of T cells may cause them to destroy non-cancer cells in the graft or in the patient.

Meanwhile, to generate bona fide T cells, it requires iPS to be cultured in an array of cytokines, which are naturally secreted by immune cells.

IL-5 and IL-2 are commonly used to produce T cells but we discovered to promote inherent immunity characteristics. Therefore for adaptive immunity characteristics, IL-2 replaced with IL-15 and IL-2.