The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences


There are many ways to fight cancer using the body’s own immune system. Some methods include the administration of vaccines while others involve stimulatory factors injected near tumors. One promising method is enlisting the help of T cells. To fight cancer effectively, T cells must be able to recognize cancerous antigens and the environment in which these T cells reside must be conducive to their function, survival, and proliferation. This paper discusses a method of providing such an environment called adoptive cell transfer, as well as the elements that effect this protocol and the ways in which the environment can be manipulated to increase the effectiveness of adoptive cell transfer. Many factors contribute to the observation that the effectiveness of adoptive cell transfer increases as immunodepletion increases, namely, the depletion of regulatory T cells. Additionally, the existence of natural killer cells during adoptive cell transfer has been shown to decrease its effectiveness. Also, increased levels of cytokines IL-7 and IL-15 enhance the function, survival and proliferation of transferred T cells which would increase their effectiveness. Moreover, the results of adoptive cell transfer are more positive when patients’ own T cells are used. These findings show that T cells can be used through adoptive cell transfer as an effective treatment for metastatic melanoma patients, and that there is potential for adoptive cell transfer to be adopted as a widespread effective treatment for cancer.



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