New immunotherapy drug

Researchers at University College London, UK, have found a new antibody cancer drug that has significantly improved the life expectancy of mice.

Previously, cancer drugs attempted to reduce the action of regulatory T cells - which prevent the immune system from becoming overactive – to allow the rest of the immune system to attack cancer cells.

In a study published in Nature Cancer, the group discovered that the ineffectiveness of these drugs was because they also reduced the action of other immune cells in the area.

Instead the UCL scientists developed a more specific antibody to target the regulatory T cells, whilst encouraging other immune cells to target the cancer.

“A single dose of the antibody gave us near hundred percent complete responses in animal models.”, said lead researcher Professor Sergio Quezada.

The team will now move to test the antibody in patient clinical trials.

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