In the past few years, next-generation cancer drugs have started trickling into the clinics, including a smart inhibitor that block a specific mutant kinase (V600E-B-RAF) and antibodies that can induce T cell-mediated rejection of certain tumors (anti-CTL4 antibodies). Another promising approach is to genetically modify T cells to attack tumors and then infuse the cells into cancer patients. Indeed, this strategy is currently entering clinical trials, specifically with T cells engineered to express the chimeric antigen receptors (CARs).
Movie: Here T cells (gray) are engineered to express chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) to redirect T-cell specificity to target CD19-positive tumor cells, expressing EGFP (green). Tumor cells turn red after the T-cell attacks and kills them (propidium iodide staining). The time-lapse imaging was performed using Nikon’s BioStation. Video presented by Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.