They are funny to look at, mild and intelligent: that was what we knew about alpacas until 1989. That year, two students discovered by chance one important feature that has long remained unknown. This and other species belonging to camelid family have "miniature" antibodies: smaller than ours and those of most mammals, they can reach even the most difficult targets. Researchers at Boston Children 's Hospital used the so called “nanobodies” to make CAR-T cells better at solid tumors. The study has been published in the journal PNAS.
fight solid tumors
What if response to immunotherapy depends on the microbes inside the intestine? An unusual treatment involving stool transplantation from one patient to another could help those who do not respond to immunotherapy.
Tags: cancer immunotherapy drugs
Speaking of unusual cancer patients, the small one with spines could not be missing. African hedgehogs are increasingly becoming popular domestic pets in the western countries. Last year, for the first time, Italian researchers treated one of them with electro-chemotherapy, a revolutionary approach against cancer.
Tags: spiny patient
Monoclonal antibodies are specialized bullets that target only specific molecules. Some antibodies recognize proteins expressed by tumor cells, while others bind receptors on the surface of immune cells. What if they can do both? A class of antibody called BiTE (bi-specific T cell engager antibodies) is able to simultaneously bind a T cell and a cancer cell, forming a bridge between the two and thus helping the former destroy the latter.
Tags: Bi-specific antibodies