New research from Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center investigates an alternative method to make CART tumour specific by involving another type of receptor alongside CAR. enabling T cells to attack only tumors that carry antigens for both. Their findings were reported online in Nature Biotechnology. Following results showing it's effectiveness they are looking to develop this for trial and consider it's application against other cancers.
“"Now we are bringing in a completely new concept," he adds. "If there is no single unique antigen that is found on the surface of the cancer cell we want to target, we instead create T cells that recognize two different antigens found on the tumor cell - a signature that will be unique to that type of cancer - and only attack cells with both antigens, sparing the normal cells that express either antigen alone."
The new technique makes use of receptors known as chimeric antigen receptors (CARs), which allow T cells to target antigens on the surface of a tumor cell, coupled with another type of receptor called a chimeric costimulatory receptor (CCR), by which the T cells can recognize a second antigen.
The CAR and the CCR work together through a process known as balanced signaling, in which the presence of either antigen on its own is not enough to trigger the immune response. Only tumor cells that carry both antigens will be targeted. “