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Yale scientists create artificial 'cells' that boost the immune response to cancer
Date:2/26/2008

adaptor molecules that serve as attachment points for antigens molecules that activate the patients T-cells to recognize and fight off the targeted disease and for stimulatory molecules. Inside of each particle, there are slowly released cytokines that further stimulate the activated T-cells to proliferate to as much as 45 times their original number.

Our process introduces several important improvements, said lead author Steenblock. First, the universal surface adaptors allow us to add a span of targeting antigen and co-stimulatory molecules. We can also create a sustained release of encapsulated cytokines. These enhancements mimic the natural binding and signaling events that lead to T-cell proliferation in the body. It also causes a fast and effective stimulation of the patients T-cells particularly T-cells of the cytotoxic type important for eradicating cancer.

Safe and efficient T-cell stimulation and proliferation in response to specific antigens is a goal of immunotherapy against infectious disease and cancer, said Fahmy. Our ability to manipulate this response so rapidly and naturally with an off the shelf reproducible biomaterial is a big step forward.

Fahmy was recently awarded a five-year National Science Foundation (NSF) Career Award for work on this process and ways of engineering biomaterials to manipulate immune responses to fight cancer and other diseases. His approach incorporates signals important for T-cell stimulation in biocompatible polymer particulates, and integrates all the signals needed for efficient T-cell stimulation.

According to the NSF, devices as such these offer ease and flexibility in targeting different types of T-cells, and is expected to lead to state of the art improvements in the preparation of a new generation of therapeutic systems.


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Contact: Janet Rettig Emanuel
janet.emanuel@yale.edu
203-432-2157
Yale University
Source:Eurekalert  

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