How do T Cells Treat Liver Cancer

Many studies done worldwide have recently proved that liver cancer (Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)) can be effectively treated by adoptive T-cell therapy. The researches basically expanded MHC-multimer-positive CD8+ T-cells for the GPC3 epitopes and created T-cell clones that were kept away from some active and particular T-cell receptors.

The scientists found that when these clone T cells are expressed on the donor ones, it shows reactions for GPC3 – the HCC- antigen, there by enacting the liver cancer patient’s T cells automatically and kill the GPC3+ HCC. Often it is found that liver transplant is a rare option for hardly 15% of liver cancer patients; while patients having the cancer at an earlier stage can reap the benefits of such alternative and adoptive T cells treatment procedures that have shown successful results lately.

t cells treat liver cancer

How does T cell Therapy Work?

T cells are those cells in your blood that are healthy and have not been affected by cancer. These are then engineered in a way to kill the cancer cells which usually are not identified as being rogue.

  • When you are diagnosed of liver cancer and your doctor decides to treat you with the T cell therapy then the first thing for him to do will be to collect some immune cells called T cells from your blood. This means that he will check for blood that is not affected by cancer and will store that blood.
  • Most of the cells that are cancerous cannot be detected on their own and hence they cannot be targeted and killed. But these cancer spreading cells are attached to a protein called CD19. That is what is used as leverage.
  • The immune blood cells are then engineered in a laboratory and given the ability to identify the CD19 protein. These now become known as ‘chimeric antigen receptor T cells.’ After the processing these blood cells are injected into your body so that they can help you fight the liver cancer.
  • Once in the body, these work horses (engineered T cells) start to multiply themselves and start targeting the cancer cells. Thus the otherwise invisible cancer spreading cells now become visible as the chimeric antigen receptor T cells target the cells with the CD19 protein and destroy them rapidly.
  • But their job is not done. They continue to survive in your body and stop any new cell that may be spreading cancer again.

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