Off-the-shelf natural killer cells to target solid tumours in clinical trial

09-Apr-2019
KEY POINTS FROM ARTICLE:

Immunotherapy has improved treatments melanoma, but many tumours can evade the immune system.
UC San Diego and Fate Therapeutics are running a clinical trial with natural killer cells.
Natural killer (NK) cells are specialized white blood cells able to break through cell membranes.
Targeting people with advanced solid tumours with off-the-shelf NK cells.
First trial in the U.S. to use cells derived from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.
Dr. Dan Kaufman developed a method of expanding large numbers of NK cells in 2013.
Preclinical research demonstrated effective killing of cancer cells in cell culture and in mouse models.
Phase I trial started in February and will include up to 64 people with advanced, untreatable cancer.
Will test on their own as well as in combination with a checkpoint inhibitor.

Using iPS cells would be a lot cheaper than personalised immunotherapy
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