Chemotherapy has been one of the only ways to cure cancer for a long time, but this is not the case anymore. According to a report in the journal Nature, CAR-T cell therapy has shown long-lasting success in treating blood cancer, with two patients remaining cancer-free over a decade later. This can be a new efficient way to cure cancer and it will also allow for less severe side effects like our fast-growing cells to still function properly.
How it works
The treatment uses genetically engineered immune cells to target and kill cancerous cells. CAR-T cells are a type of immune cell that is engineered in a laboratory to recognize and attack cancerous cells. The process of creating CAR-T cells involves extracting T-cells, from blood. These T-cells are then genetically modified in the laboratory to produce antigen receptors. These are engineered to recognize and bind to cancer cells. After CAR-T cells binds it triggers death to the cancer cell, ultimately getting rid of the cancer.
Connection to AP Biology
CAR-T cell therapy reflects what we learned in AP Biology. Unlike chemotherapy which kills fast-growing cells. CAR-T cell therapy selectively targets cancerous cells which eliminates possible symptoms. This is also similar to the topic of the immune system in AP Bio. For example, we learned that Cytotoxic T cells are part of the adaptive group of the immune system. When the Cytotoxic T cell sees an infected cell it binds to it and causes apoptosis (self destruction of cell )to occur.
Though the treatment seems ideal, there are still drawbacks. The treatment does not work for everyone and can have dangerous side effects. Researchers are working on expanding the therapy’s effectiveness by understanding how and why it works. CAR-T cell therapy is still new but has potential in the near future for curing cancer.
- High fever and chills.
- Trouble breathing.
- Severe nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded.
- Fast heartbeat.
- Feeling very tired.
- Muscle and/or joint pain.
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