Cellular immunotherapy: Experts Reprogrammed Human Skin Cells Into Immune Cells To Battle Cancer

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For the very first time, a team of researchers at Lund University in Sweden has successfully been able to reprogram mouse and human cells as well into immune cells that are called dendritic cells.

This process is really quick and effective, and it basically represents a pioneering contribution for applying direct reprogramming for inducing immunity.

This finding will open up the possibility of developing new dendritic cell-based immunotherapies against cancer.

Without the T-cells which are the cells responsible for fighting foreign cells, we would be extremely vulnerable to the disease. The T-cells themselves rely on immune sentinel cells to seek out and fight all suspicious cells.

In cancer treatments, this process is manipulated in such a way to get our own bodies to attack cancerous cells. The team of experts managed to get our human skin cells to convert into immune system sentinels.

Fighting cancer with the immune system

Fighting cancer with our own immune system is not easy, and sometimes, cancer may cause the dendritic cells to behave in unusual ways and not function the way they should.

There’s also a high risk that our body might reject the treatment and by creating immune cells from our own body, the chance of rejection is incredibly reduced.

The process is called direct reprogramming, and it was recently published in the journal Science Immunology.

“From a tissue section taken from the skin, we can cultivate millions of cells and reprogram them to dendritic cells in a process that takes only nine days,” said Filipe Pereira, the leader of the research team.

The reprogramed cells can alert the body’s immune system to cancerous cells, and they can be guided by an expert to seek out specific targets before they’re introduced in the body.

Cellular immunotherapy is a new way to fight cancer, and it requires more analysis.


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