© Pint of Science, 2019. All rights reserved.
You often hear terms like “How to boost your Immune System” or “Harness your Immune System” to fight disease. But are any of these claims true and can we really “boost” our body’s defences to combat illnesses or are these just click bait? Come find out how scientists have been using the immunologists’ toolkit in the war against cancer and how our understanding is changing the way we treat disease.
How does the immune system remember?
Dr Maike De La Roche (Group Leader, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute)
Every day of our lives we face an onslaught of germs and microbes and we rely on our immune system to fight off infection and illness. But how does the immune system adapt to all those wild things out there and how does it deal with unknown threats? The adaptive immune system is a formidable force to be reckoned with and one of its powers lies within its deep deep memory: be warned enemies of mine, for the Immune System remembers!
Baby, you can drive my CAR: Cancer immunotherapy's new hit
Dr Iosifina Foskolou (Research Associate, University of Cambridge; Evelyn Trust Patrick Sisson's Fellow Darwin College)
CAR-T cell immunotherapy is an entirely new cancer treatment where certain white blood cells (T-cells) are removed from the patient’s blood, modified in the lab, and reintroduced. These modified cells specifically recognise and kill cancer cells. One of the challenges that CAR-T cell therapy currently faces is that the modified CAR-T cells die early after administration. We will discuss how we can overcome this hurdle and what the latest research trends in immunotherapy are. Enhancing the longevity of T-cells can improve immunotherapy effectiveness and cancer patient outcomes.