New technology for immunotherapy. Improving the effectiveness of CAR-T and CAR-NK therapies
Universitat de Barcelona - Fundació Bosch i Gimpera, Spain
Cancer immunotherapy is a major success story in biomedicine. One of the most promising strategies is CAR-T cell therapy, which consists of removing T-lymphocytes from the patient, genetically modifying them and reinjecting them so that they specifically attack tumour cells.
However, this approach has limitations due to its complex production and also in terms of its effectiveness against some types of cancer.
CAR therapies have been successfully used to treat liquid tumours such as leukaemia and lymphoma. However, the efficacy of CAR-T cell therapy is very often limited by the extent of expansion and persistence of the modified cells. New technologies and approaches to enhance the efficacy of the CAR-T and CAR-NK cells that can also expand its application to solid tumours are needed.
Recent studies have shown that the specific blocking of an epigenetic protein has beneficial effects on the effectiveness of CAR-T cell therapy. Starting from already identified molecules that bind to this protein, the team led by Dr. Carles Galdeano, in collaboration with researchers at University of Barcelona and Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology, are developing a new technology based on PROTAC molecules capable of degrading this protein. PROTAC molecules can efficiently redirect unwanted proteins to the natural degradation mechanism of cells.