Medical Student Researches New Methods to Test CAR-T Cell Therapy

According to a story from the Breast Cancer Society of Canada, Veronica Dubois, who is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Medical Biophysics, is focusing her research on developing more effective approaches for testing CAR-T cell therapy, a type of cancer treatment that has seen considerable development in recent years. Veronica is a student at Western University.

About CAR-T Cell Therapy

Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cell therapy is a unique approach to treating cancer that primes the body’s immune system so that it is capable of identifying and attacking cancer cells. This process involves the extraction of T-cells from a patient which are then modified with a protein that allows them to kill and and recognized cancer cells. These modified cells are then propagated in the lab setting before being reintroduced into the body of the patient. CAR-T cell therapy has become a useful approach for treating certain blood cancers such as acute lymphoblastic leukemia and new versions to treat a variety of blood cancers are currently being researched and developed.

Limitations

While CAR-T cell therapy has shown a lot of promise, there are still some serious limitations. Firstly is the possibility of side effects. The long-term impact of CAR-T cell therapy is still not well understood and the treatment can also cause cytokine release syndrome, which can trigger severe and life-threatening symptoms. Neurological issues may also appear. CAR-T cell therapy also has yet to be successfully developed for treating solid tumors.

Veronica’s Research

Alleviating these problems could go a long way to making this form of treatment more effective and appealing to patients but in order for this to happen more research of CAR-T cell therapy is necessary. Veronica aims to develop an approach that will allow scientists to monitor the trajectory of CAR-T cells when they enter the patient’s body. This will allow for researchers to understand how this treatment can cause side effects and can also facilitate the development of new types of CAR-T therapy for solid tumor cancers such as breast cancer.

Be sure to check out the original article to learn more about Veronica’s research goals.


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