Sumary of Researchers develop “cell encapsulation” technology to stimulate immunity to fight cancer:
- Immunotherapy techniques developed in oncology to combat cancerous cells have great potential for fighting viruses..
- A research team from the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG) and the University of Geneva (UNIGE), in Switzerland, in collaboration with MaxiVAX, a spinoff of both institutions, developed an innovative technology called “cell encapsulation”..
- Originally designed to stimulate immunity to fight cancer, the COVID-19 pandemic motivated the scientists to broaden the scope of their technology to test its effectiveness against viruses..
- The immune system is able to identify cancer cells and fight them, just as it does against a viral or bacterial pathogen..
- To this end, Nicolas Mach and his team, in partnership with the company MaxiVAX, developed a novel cell-based cancer vaccination using cell encapsulation technology..
- Exciting the immune system over the long term Cell encapsulation consists of filling a semipermeable capsule with engineered cells before implanting it subcutaneously..
- This technology therefore allows the stable and sustained long-term production and release of proteins such as cytokines or antibodies..
- Loaded with cells modified to secrete a substance capable of stimulating the immune system, the capsule can be used as an adjuvant cargo ship..
- To efficiently boost the immune system, the scientists used the tool they developed over the last two years, a genetically modified muscle cell line secreting GM-CSF, a protein known to promote the growth of white blood cells and able, under certain conditions, to train very effectively the immune system to react against a pathogenic target..
- “GM-CSF is like a hormone for the white blood cells, which are just as useful for defeating tumours as they are for defeating pathogens,”.
- explains the oncologist.In order to use GM-CSF as an adjuvant to enhance the immune response against the SARS-CoV-2 Spike target, the lab-produced cells are encapsulated…