Researchers have been able to use genetically tweaked immune system cells, for the first time ever, in order to send a particular woman's severe lupus into remission! The treatment is known as CAR T-cell therapy and has already proved itself against other cases of blood cancer.
Cell Therapy for Woman with Severe Systemic Lupus
According to USNews, The process involves removing the patient's very own immune system T-cells and genetically altering them in order to target cancer. The cells are then infused back into the patient.
Researchers were able to test the cell therapy on a certain 20-year-old woman that already had severe systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE. This is an autoimmune disease which can even cause organ damage throughout the person's body. With technological advances, more and more medical problems like Alzheimers are looking towards a potential breakthrough.
CAR T-Cell Immunotherapy
They were also reportedly able to find a quick approach which sent her disease directly into remission and there were no significant side effects observed in the six-week mark. The woman is now known as the first lupus patient ever in the whole world to be treated with CAR T-cells according to researcher Dr. Georg Schett of the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg located in Germany.
This reportedly means that much more research is needed before the therapy could potentially become widely available. Based on the initial report, however, the treatment actually makes a lot of sense in itself. This was according to Dr. Donald Thomas, a certain rheumatologist with Arthritis and Pain Associates of PG County located in Greenbelt, Md., and the known author of "The Lupus Encyclopedia."
Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-Cell Therapy
Thomas noted that with a rapid, complete, and also safe response, the therapy should also be tried in other patients that have severe disease. At that point, Schett also noted that the patient in his report showed up "completely healthy" and has actually not needed lupus treatment for over four months! While the COVID-19 situation is becoming more and more of a problem, other medical focuses are still looking towards better alternatives for medical problems like lupus.
According to Cancer.gov, CAR T-Cell Therapy, or chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy is a type of treatment wherein the patient's T-cells are then changed inside a laboratory in order for them to attack cancer cells. T-cells are drawn from the patient's blood then the gene for a certain special receptor which binds to certain protein on the patient's cancer cell will be added to the T cells in the laboratory.
The special receptor is known as the chimeric antigen receptor or CAR. A significant number of CAR T cells are actually grown inside the laboratory and are even given to the patient through infusion. CAR T-cell therapy is also reportedly used to treat blood cancers. It is also currently being studied in the treatment of potentially other types of cancer. This particular therapy is also sometimes known as the chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy.
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Written by Urian B.