Adoptive cell transfer (ACT) can treat metastatic cancers, but sometimes the patient’s existing immune cells must be cleared out first to make room for the new ones. This is both toxic for patients and expensive. Therefore, Dr. Rubinstein is developing a way to use ACT without having to deplete the patient’s cells beforehand. By equipping the donor T cells with extra receptors for the T cell growth factor interleukin-2 (IL-2), he found in preclinical models that it’s not necessary to use chemotherapy or radiation to reset the host’s immune system. Now, he’s translating this approach to humans, and developing a safer method to make them. His ultimate goal is to improve anti-tumor immune responses in cancer patients without the costs and side effects that currently come along with ACT.
The ability to program the immune system to selectively kill cancer cells while leaving healthy cells untouched is fundamentally transforming the field of oncology. We are grateful to the Cancer Research Institute to providing funding to push this research forward.
Projects and Grants
Generating human tumor-reactive T cells with high levels of IL-2Ra for adaptive T cell therapy
Medical University of South Carolina | Lung Cancer, Melanoma | 2016
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