Stem cell quality of T cells beats cancer

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The publication Science revealed findings from a study showing how tumors grow despite cancer treatment. Cancer cells release potassium when they die and a high amount can be visible in tumors. Increased exposure of potassium on T cells, white blood cells that protect the body, can make treatments more effective.

Immunotherapy continues to help more patients and some cases leads patients to remission.

In addition, there are immunotherapy treatments, such as CAR T cells and immune inhibitors, with T cells of a limited life span. Thus, cancer-fighting T cells inside the tumor cannot often persist long enough to eradicate tumors. Therefore, researchers are seeking ways to support T cells used for immunotherapy to grow, reproduce, and stay stronger.

However, there is an approach where T cells are extracted from the tumor, grown to big numbers in the lab, and then reinjected into the patient.  It is a primary immunotherapy strategy called adoptive cell transfer.  Indeed, these T cells, which are similar to the state of stem cells, can mature into fighting cells that can attack the tumor.

Besides, it seems that keeping T cells in this condition where they are ready to grow, like stem cells, allows them to regenerate indefinitely and react to the environment to develop cells that overcome cancer cells.  Hence, adoptive cell transfer therapy shows to be successful from these procedures.