Hopes are high for an experimental immunotherapy recently described in Nature, possibly the most complex treatment ever developed and tested on humans. The results of the small trial carried out by the California-based PACT Pharma look promising, even if the success is more technical and conceptual than clinical.
CAR-T cells are the cutting edge of immunotherapy, a branch of medicine that won a Nobel Prize in 2018 and harnesses the immune system’s natural ability to recognize cancer. Enhancing them through genomic editing is a goal that several groups are pursuing around the globe.
Researchers hope to move beyond lymphatic and blood cancers, where CAR-Ts have been used for years. The challenge is to treat solid tumors, which are more variable and less physically accessible. Will the “nonviral T cell receptor replacement” strategy be the way forward? We suggest to read Nature News and watch this Institute for Systems Biology’s video for clues.