What Is CAR-NK Cell Therapy?
CAR-NK Cell Therapy is a type of treatment in which a patient’s NK cells (a type of immune system cell) are genetically changed in the laboratory so they will attack cancer cells. NK cells are taken from a patient’s blood or from other sources like umbilical cord blood. Then the gene for a special receptor that binds to a certain protein on the patient’s cancer cells is added to the NK cells in the laboratory. The special receptor is called a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR). Large numbers of the CAR-NK cells are grown in the laboratory and given to the patient by infusion.
CAR-NK Cell Therapy is used to treat all types of cancer, and its proven efficacy is turning it into one of the most advanced and non-toxic cancer treatments available today.
How the CAR-NK Cell Therapy works
As described above, CAR-NK cells are natural killer immune cells that have been modified to match markers present on the outside of cancer cells, allowing them to selectively find and attack them.
To create CAR-NK cells, NK-cells are extracted from the umbilical cord blood. They are then genetically treated in the laboratory, multiplied, and re-infused to the patient so that the engineered CAR-NK cells can selectively attack cancer cells. The patient’s response is then monitored using a variety of tools.
Les Goldman explains:
The strongest weapon that we have to deal with any invasion in our body is our immune system. For 30 years or more, we have been using chemotherapy and radiation instead of turning to the most natural solution. We are now able to educate the immune system of each person with just some of the patient’s blood.
The CAR-NK Cell Therapy process in 4 Steps
There are four steps involved:
- Harvesting immune cells from an individual’s peripheral blood
- Genetically engineering those cells to express cancer-specific chimeric antigen receptors (CARs)
- Expanding the quantity of those cells in the laboratory (called “ex vivo expansion”)
- Re-infusing the modified cells into the patient in order to selectively attack cancer cells
What Is CAR-NK Treatment Like for the Patient?
The transformation of the natural killer cells is a complex process, while the treatment is very easy and non-invasive for the patient. If the patient’s own blood is used, the NK cell serum administration takes place some days after the blood draw.
From beginning to end, the patient can continue his everyday life, no interruption of work or other routines is required. In addition, the patient’s wellbeing and physical condition are not subject to any change connected to the treatment.
The NK transfusion itself is typically short and painless, lasting only about an hour. After staying with the medical team for monitoring, patients can continue their normal life.
CAR-NK Cell Therapy can be combined with the majority of other cancer treatments and can even boost the efficacy of other therapies. Through this therapy the patient’s immune system is strengthened and it is likely that the recovery process is easier and faster.