A medical breakthrough paves the way for a “more effective and targeted” treatment for breast cancer A medical breakthrough paves the way for a “more effective and targeted” treatment for breast cancer

A medical breakthrough paves the way for a “more effective and targeted” treatment for breast cancer

A medical breakthrough paves the way for a “more effective and targeted” treatment for breast cancer

Researchers from the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) have come up with a new type of targeted immunotherapy to help prevent the growth and spread of tumors in breast cancers.

Through tests on mice, researchers have discovered a way to adapt a type of immunotherapy to make it more “effective and targeted.”

While chemotherapy and radiation directly target cancer cells, new immunotherapy works by helping the body's immune system recognize and kill cancer cells.

The new treatment targets cells that help tumors survive, rather than directly attacking the cancer itself.

A team led by the Institute of Cancer Research in London explored the potential of immunotherapy known as Car-T, which works by removing a patient's healthy immune cells and genetically modifying them to attack specific targets.

As part of the treatment, T cells (blood cells that protect the body from infection and disease) are genetically modified in the laboratory to make them stronger at eliminating cancer.

This approach has been used to treat some types of leukemia in children and young adults, but it has never been used to treat breast cancer.

Using CAR-T therapy on solid cancers "remains a challenge" due to the lack of unique antigens for cancer cells, the researchers said.

To use CAR-T to treat breast cancer, researchers modified it to target a protein called endosialin. They found that this disrupts the tumor's blood supply and reduces its growth and spread.

“This is the first study to demonstrate the effectiveness of using endosialin-directed CAR-T cells to reduce breast cancer tumor growth and spread,” explained Dr. Frances Turrell, who led the study and a postdoctoral training fellow at the Institute of Cancer Research.

The team also tested the treatment on lung cancer tumors in mice and saw similar successful results, indicating that it could be used to treat other cancers as well.

Professor Claire Ezaki, Professor of Molecular Cell Biology at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, said human trials of the new method would take at least two years from this point as steps needed to be taken to make the treatment suitable for human patients.

The results also suggest that because the treatment affects cells without the protein endosialin, it may result in a treatment with fewer side effects for patients than traditional immunotherapy.

Dr. Nesharanthi Dogan, director of research information at the Center for Cancer Research, said that identifying new targets for immunotherapy could increase the number of types of cancer that can be treated with this type of treatment. Although this research is still at an early stage, it suggests the possibility of targeting the processes that help some tumors grow, rather than targeting the cancer itself, a strategy that could be applied to a wide range of cancer types.

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