ATLANTA, GA - Georgia State University's professor of immunology, Yuan Liu, founded a comprehensive form of macrophage-based immunotherapy that could treat cancer including those who suffer from advanced levels of cancer.
The treatment works by using specialized white blood cells called macrophages. Macrophages will activate T-cells that will automatically detect cancer cells and destroy them.
This system will work perfectly under normal conditions. However, cancer cells are hard to detect because sometimes they disguised themselves as healthy cells. This makes macrophages hard to be identified, resulting in the growth of cancer cells.
To resolve this, Liu and her team found a way to alter the macrophages by removing the receptor called Signal-regulatory protein α or SIRPα. The receptor's main function is to protect macrophages from attacking healthy cells.
Liu found that macrophages without SIRPα can help the immune system attack cancer by alerting and activating tumor-specific T-cells.
Liu and her team use mice to test their theory. They're using the macrophages without SIRPα on mice infected with tumors, and it showed efficient results as it cured pancreatic cancer and colorectal cancer.
The mice showed inflammatory immune responses and within 4 to 12 days, mice with lighter cases of tumor are healed completely without any side effects.
This treatment also prevents the regrowth of cancer, and the mice showed a steady immune system. Even after they were injected with cancer cells, the cells couldn't form a new tumor.
This therapy is proven effective to cure the "NCI-60 cancer panel" which consists of various types of tumors including breast, ovary, prostate, leukemia, melanoma, lung, colon, brain, and kidney.
Liu and her team are currently working to receive approval from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, and they're hoping to begin the human trials in 2022.
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