Significance of CAR-T cell Therapy
Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy (CAR T-cell therapy) is used to treat specific types of blood malignancies, and it is also being researched for other cancers. The Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy has proven to be a game-changer in cancer treatment, particularly for patients with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.
However, this technology was not available in India until recently. CAR-T cell therapy costs Rs. 3-4 crores for each patient.
What are T-Cells?
T cell, also known as T lymphocyte, is a type of leukocyte (white blood cell) that plays an important role in the immune system. T cells are one of two primary types of lymphocytes, the other being B cells, that determine the specificity of the immune response to antigens (foreign substances) in the body.
T-cells are classified into two types: helper T-cells and killer T-cells. Helper T-cells stimulate B-cells to produce antibodies and aid in the development of killer cells. Killer T-cells kill cells that have already been infected by an invading foreign invader. T-cells also use cytokines as messenger molecules to send chemical instructions to the rest of the immune system, causing it to respond more aggressively.
About T-Cell Therapy
T-cell therapy is a sort of treatment in which a patient's T cells (a type of immune system cell) are genetically modified in the laboratory to attack cancer cells. In other words, T-cell transfer therapy is an immunotherapy that improves the ability of our own immune cells to fight cancer. There are two types of T-cell Transfer Therapy:
- Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) therapy
- Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy
CAR T-Cell Therapy Process
- First, T cells are extracted from the blood of a patient to produce chimeric antigen receptors (CAR). This is done so that T-cells can recognise a specific protein on tumour cells.
- Later, CAR T cells are grown in large numbers in the lab and are then infused into the patient.
- CAR T-cells binds to the cancer cells and kill them.
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