Cell-based therapies against cancer are becoming more common. Many of those rely on manipulation of T-cells. Is it possible to select a population of T-cells that are more vigorous and better at killing tumor cells?
In this episode, Tracy interviews Suman Vodnala about inducing "stemness" in T-cells to make them perform better in terms of proliferation, persistence and effectiveness. This preserves the potential of the T-cell to do its job. These findings were published in a recent issue of Science.
While this can be done pharmacologically, Suman describes how manipulating specific ions (potassium) in the growth medium can have a similar effect.
Suman and Tracy also discuss other ways in which T-cells might be kept alive longer.