"This is the first time anyone has succeeded in cloning a T-cell receptor targeting prostate antigen, and we hope we will have an opportunity to test T cells equipped with this receptor in a clinical study. In order to do so, we will probably need to enlist the help of American colleagues," says Victoria Rashkova, who has been involved in the project as part of her doctoral studies.
Every T cell has a unique T-cell receptor, which entails great potential to recognize alien antigens and, for example, kill virus-infected cells. T-cells can also recognize and kill tumour cells, but there aren't enough of them normally to carry out the task. However, if it is known which unique antigen is expressed by a tumour cell type, it should be possible to clone a T-cell receptor that has the capacity to bind to that antigen. This receptor can then be conveyed to the cancer patient's own T cells and used as treatment.
|Contact: Professor Magnus Essand|