Scientists have developed an innovative gel for the treatment of cancer

(ORDO NEWS) — Stanford University scientists have demonstrated how a new gel can help fight a form of cancer by acting as an injectable pen for immune killer cells. The breakthrough promises to expand the scope of this method of fighting solid tumors.

The type of treatment at the center of this study is known as CAR-T cell therapy. It involves harvesting the patient’s own immune T cells and exposing them to specialized signaling proteins that reprogram them to fight cancer cells more effectively.

Once in the bloodstream, these CAR-T cells spread throughout the body, making them effective in treating common cancers but problematic when it comes to solid tumors such as sarcomas.

These dense formations usually form in certain places and have defense mechanisms that repel attacks from immune cells.

The Stanford team has developed a special gel made from water and cellulose that is loaded with CAR-T cells and signaling proteins.

The mesh structure of the gel is strong enough to hold the T cells, but once they replicate and are ready to destroy the tumor, they can break free and go to their target.

This has been demonstrated in mice with solid tumors injected with the gel near the growth site. These animals got rid of these tumors after 12 days, without any negative inflammatory reactions.

“ What we evaluated were primarily tumors that could be injected next to. But, unfortunately, we still can’t get to all body tissues ,” said Eric Appel, assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford and senior author of the paper.

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