Scientists from the University of Cardiff (UK) have discovered a new type of immune cell receptor. This discovery may help develop an effective treatment for malignant tumors.
According to Science Alert, scientists used the CRISPR-Cas9 system to detect MR1, a new type of T cell receptor (TCR) in immune T cells. This receptor functions almost like HLA (human leukocyte antigen) and is able to recognize cancer cells, but, unlike HLA, it does not differ much in the human population and is more suitable for use in T-cell therapy.
Using human cell cultures in labs, MR1 T-lymphocytes effectively dealt with cancer cells in the lungs, skin, colon, breast, prostate, bone and ovary. The results of tests with mice injected with MR1 lymphocytes showed that the new therapy leads to cancer remission and allows rodents to live longer than the animals in the control group.
Since this approach to treatment seems promising, scientists hope to begin clinical trials of the method with people as early as this year. It is difficult to say how many types of cancer will be sensitive to new immunotherapy.