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Green and Schneck develop a strategy to lengthen lives of mice with skin cancer

January 7, 2017

Tumor Cells
The effectiveness of killer T cells (pink) against tumor cells (brown) is damped by the interaction between PD-L1 (blue) and PD-1 (purple), but that can be somewhat overcome by artificial antigen presenting cells (orange), which encourage killer T cells to multiply. Credit: Alyssa Kosmides and Randall Meyer, Johns Hopkins Medicine

Jordan Green, associate professor of biomedical engineering, and Jonathan Schneck, professor of pathology, both at the School of Medicine, have learned that by combining a biomimetic particle along with a more traditional immunotherapy they could lengthen the lives of mice with skin cancer better than either treatment alone. Both approaches focus on activating the rodent immune system killer T cells — white blood cells that fight infection and other invaders.

The new technique can be tailored to different types of cancer, and if confirmed in human studies, may eventually improve treatment options for patients suffering from a variety of cancers.

“By simply bathing artificial APCs (antigen-presenting cells) in one enemy protein or another, we can prepare them to activate T cells to fight specific cancers or other diseases,” says Green.

Read more about this study in the Johns Hopkins press release.