In the past few decades, cancer research has unraveled valuable insights into the biological mechanisms that drive the disease. From developing standard radiation and chemotherapies to the modern targeted immunotherapies, cancer treatment research is substantial to advance against this chronic disease. But what is the ultimate goal? Cancer research scientists endeavor to develop less toxic and more effective treatments for patients to obtain the best treatment outcomes.

CAR-T cells therapy is a pioneering cancer treatment method which will create a breakthrough in cancer research in the not so far future. The research is a part of ‘CARPETS’– phase 1 clinical trial and was indented to cure advanced melanoma. The clinical trial is initiated by Professor Michael Brown, Director of the Cancer Clinical Trials Unit at the RAH and led by the Centre for Cancer Biology. It is an alliance between the Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN), the University of South Australia, and the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH).

CAR-T cells therapy is a treatment that involves altering the gene of a patient’s T cells (an immune system cell) in the laboratory so that it will attack the cancer cells. T- cells are taken from the blood and the gene coding for a specific receptor (a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)) that binds to a specific protein on the patient’s cancer cells is added in the laboratory. CAR-T cells are grown in large numbers in the laboratory and then delivered to the patient by infusion. CAR-T cells will target and attack the cancer cells of the patient.

In the field of cancer immunotherapy, CAR- T cells therapy is one of the most promising technologies. This therapy has been found to successfully treat chemotherapy-resistant blood cancer and immunological trials are carried out now to treat solid cancers. The ground-breaking venture of these scientists into expanding and advancing cancer treatment methods is greatly appreciable.

“Cell therapies are rapidly emerging as potentially curative, individualized treatments for many of the world’s most challenging diseases”- Alain Vertès


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