Highly Personalized Immunotherapy Could be a Game Changer Against Ovarian Cancer

According to a story from Innovation Toronto, a recent study has helped develop methods that could be used to create cell-based, personalized immunotherapy treatments that could be used to treat ovarian cancer and potentially other types of tumors as well. Personalized therapy methods allow for the most optimum treatment profile to be delivered to the patient, because it is precisely customized to suit the circumstances of the individual case and account for the overall medical condition of the patient.
Ovarian cancer is just one of many cancer types that, while often not responding strongly to currently available immunotherapies, could be much more vulnerable to personalized immunotherapy. This type of cancer generally has quite poor survival rates. This is due to the fact that ovarian cancer does not cause many symptoms in its early stages. By the time symptoms appear, the disease has often metastasized and reached and advanced stage. The cancer can be very difficult to suppress once it has started to spread. Ovarian cancer is also known for its ability to relapse. Over time, the cancer can develop treatment resistance. To learn more about ovarian cancer, click here.

In the study, the scientists realized that epithelial ovarian cancer tumors tended to carry a significant population of immune system T cells, which are adept at killing cancer cells. Researchers are working on finding a way to extract and grow the T cells in order to develop immunotherapies. Killer T cells are able to recognize cancer cells from normal cells, but the protein that they use in order to identify cancer varies from person to person. The ultimate goal is to attempt to extract the patient’s own T cells and then inject them back into the patient after replicating the cells that are determined to be the most effective at killing cancer.

However, this method typically just uses T cells from the patient’s blood, not the ones that are inside the tumor. Generally, this method has found little success in treating solid cancer tumors. The T cells from inside the tumor are better at destroying cancer cells that the ones from the blood. Researchers hope to begin testing treatments using T cells from the tumors soon.

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