A 'homing system' targets therapeutic T-cells to brain cancer

IMAGE: Heba Samaha is on the left, and Dr. Nabil Ahmed. view more 

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Credit: Baylor College of Medicine

A multi-institution international team led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine has developed a new strategy to overcome one of the main obstacles in the treatment of brain cancer – access to the tumor. Under the influence of cancer, the blood-brain barrier diverts immune T cells that attempt to enter the brain to fight the tumor. The new discovery, published in the journal Nature, decodes the molecular cause of this immune escape mechanism and engineers T cells with a first-in-class molecule called Homing System that enables the T cells to cross the impervious cancer blood-brain barrier to effectively fight tumors.

“T cell immunotherapy is an emerging field that has shown promise in clinical trials for cancer and other conditions,” said senior author Dr. Nabil Ahmed, associate professor of pediatrics at the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine. “However, effective homing of therapeutic T cells on the target site remains a major limiting factor, especially for brain tumors.”

In this study, Heba Samaha, the lead researcher from the Children’s Cancer Hospital Egypt-57357 and the study team described a previously unknown ‘escape


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