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12:46 PM
 | 
Feb 16, 2017
 |  BC Innovations  |  Translation in Brief

Infecting cancer

How pathogens can help boost adoptive T cell efficacy against solid tumors

Although adoptive T cell therapies have shown promising clinical efficacy for hematological malignancies, applying the strategy to solid tumors is more challenging because they form an immunosuppressive microenvironment. To overcome that suppression and boost antitumor T cell responses, a U.S. team has developed a new twist on the approach that combines T cells with an injection of bacteria into the tumor.

In a paper published last month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team led by Weiguo Cui engineered tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes to target not only the tumor, but also a strain of bacteria that was injected into the tumor. Cui is an associate investigator in the BloodCenter of Wisconsin’s Blood Research Institute.

He told BioCentury there are two advantages of the dual-specificity T cell technique. First, the targeting of both tumor and bacterial antigens should increase homing...

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