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Promising T cell therapy
Date:6/17/2014

em from becoming ill. "The most astonishing result was that the offspring cells of just one transferred donor cell were enough to completely protect the animals," Christian Stemberger explains.

Successfully used in patients

Finally, the scientists used virus-specific T cells to treat two critically ill patients. Due to a congenital immunodeficiency and leukemia, respectively, stem cell transplants had to be performed on the two patients. Weakened by the procedure, both patients developed CMV infections.

Using a new method, the scientists therefore isolated T cells specifically programmed to target the CMV virus from the blood of the donor and transferred small numbers of these cells to the patients. After only a few weeks, the virus-specific cells proliferated. At the same time, the number of viruses in the blood dropped. "It is a great advantage that even just a few cells can provide protection. This means that the cells can be used for preventive treatment in low doses that are gentler on the organism," Dr. Michael Neuenhahn, last author of the study, explains.

The potential of the identified T cells will now be examined in a clinical study. In addition to an innovative method for cell purification, scientists also have at their disposal a new TUM facility for the sterile manufacture of cell products. In TUMCells, cells can be produced in highly-pure conditions, in so-called clean rooms. In the future, the scientists want to use recent results and TUMCells to develop innovative cell therapies.


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Contact: Vera Siegler
vera.siegler@tum.de
49-892-892-2731
Technische Universitaet Muenchen
Source:Eurekalert

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