Cancer Innovation Harnesses Tumor-Fighting "Superheroes"
Tel Aviv University researchers and their colleagues took a big step in developing a technology that could revolutionize cancer treatments using immunotherapy.
A therapy known as “CAR-T” has already transformed the treatment of blood cancers around the world. However, until now, it has proven less successful against solid tumors. Dr. Yaron Carmi of TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine, together with hospital and industry partners, invented a new technique for CAR-T therapy design. In preliminary lab tests, the method eradicated solid tumors with greater efficiency and fewer side effects than existing approaches. Carmi’s team is now working toward clinical trials.
“There’s a lot of excitement from the scientific community and investors about the life-saving potential of our method to eventually be adapted to all types of cancers,” says Carmi.
Unlike chemotherapy, which uses powerful chemicals to fight cancer, CAR-T therapies genetically modify certain cells to amplify the immune system's natural ability to fight malignancy. Carmi’s innovation differs from existing methods in that it engineers a new type of molecular structure that converts infection-fighting T-cells into “tumor-killing machines, like superheroes."
The breakthrough was achieved with the support of TAU’s Varda and Boaz Dotan Research Center for Hemato-Oncology.