CAR-T therapy uses modified T cells, a type of immune cell, to fight cancer. After taking T cells from your blood, a synthetic receptor called a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) is added to your T cells in the lab, and the cells are multiplied. These new CAR-T cells are then infused back into your body to target specific antigens on the surface of cancer cells.
Baylor University Medical Center offers all commercially available CAR-T therapies in Dallas, including indication for large B-cell lymphoma, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma and Mantle cell lymphoma.
T cell receptor (TCR) therapy
Similar to CAR-T therapy, T cell receptor (TCR) therapy modifies a person’s own T cells in the lab with a receptor that can target specific cancer cells. These modified cells are multiplied and infused back in the person to attack cancer. TCR is different from CAR-T in the type of antigens the T cells target.
Natural killer (NK) cell therapy
A natural killer (NK) cell is a type of immune cell that looks for many types of abnormal cells in the body and attacks them. In the lab, NK cells can be multiplied or modified and then infused into a person to help the body better attack cancer cells. Unlike T cell therapies, NK cell therapy doesn’t require the use of an individual’s own cells.
The cGMP lab on the Dallas campus is involved in manufacturing dendritic cell vaccines for various types of cancer. When modified in the lab and delivered as a vaccine, immature dendritic cells, a type of immune cell, can help prompt the immune system to target cancer cells as invaders.
Antibodies are proteins made by your immune system that stick to specific foreign cells to help your body destroy them. Monoclonal antibodies are manufactured antibodies that act like natural antibodies. There are a few different types of monoclonal antibodies, but they are all designed to help your immune system find and attack cancer better.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors
Your body has immune checkpoints to help keep your T cells from destroying healthy cells. However, when immune checkpoints are present on cancer cells, it can shut off T cells so that they don’t attack the cancer. Immune checkpoint inhibitors block these checkpoints on cancer cells, allowing T cells to recognize and destroy them.
Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes are immune cells that go from your blood into a tumor to kill cancer cells. These lymphocytes can be taken from a person’s tumor and multiplied in the lab here in Dallas. This larger number of lymphocytes is then infused back into the person to boost the immune system’s ability to destroy cancer.