In 10 seconds? Scientists are engineering immune cells called macrophages to kill cancer with the hope that these ‘living drugs’ will outperform CAR-T cells in attacking solid tumors.
Could you remind me what these CAR-T treatments are? Of course! Chimeric antigen receptor T cells or CAR-T cells (check out previous digests for more information) are a new cancer treatment strategy where scientists engineer a patient’s own T cells (a type of immune cell) to target and kill cancer. CAR-T cells have proven to be quite successful against multiple types of blood cancers (gooey tumors that form in the blood or lymph vessels) but have not been able to tackle solid tumors (most tumors) in other parts of the body to the same extent. But, scientists are now engineering a different type of immune cell, called macrophages, to see if they could be more successful against solid tumors.