Posted in | Nanomedicine

T-cells Fortified with Nanoparticles to Combat Cancer Cells

Published on May 20, 2011 at 3:28 AM

By Cameron Chai

Darrell Irvine has led a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to discover a way to enhance the immune system with regard to combating cancer by injecting them with interleukin-filled nanoparticles.

T-cells are a set of white blood cells that work in tandem with the body’s immune system. These cells gather around cancer cells in an endeavor to obliterate the cancer. Some tumors release a chemical, which weakens the T-cells, nurturing the growth of the cancer.

Irvine’s team bound 100 nanoparticle capsules to a single T-cell while maintaining its functionality. The capsules were then filled with interleukins, which are naturally produced in the immune system and stabilize the system by causing the T-cells to continue fighting. The addition of more interleukins increased the capability of the T-cells to forge ahead and combat the cancerous cells.

The enhanced T-cells were injected into mice infected with cancer of the bone and lung. The T-cells promptly inundated the tumor cells and stayed operational for a long time than their previous counterparts. Mice treated with normal T-cells died of cancer within a month, but those treated with enhanced cells became better.

The T-cells did not require to be genetically altered, which is a complicated and expensive method because they had been modified with the nanoparticles. This technique could also accelerate clinical trials.

Source: http://web.mit.edu

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