Groundbreaking research on stem cells and natural killer cells leads to new cancer treatment approach

December 5, 2019
natural killer cells
In the article, "U of M Opens Three First-in-human Trials in One Month," by Kelly Glynn featured on the University of Minnesota Medical School's website, VBS Professor Bruce Walcheck and VBS Associate Professor Jianming (Jimmy) Wu were featured for engineering a high-affinity monoclonal antibody receptor in natural killer (NK) cells engineered to target blood cancers.
 
The modified receptor prevents the receptor’s shedding from the surface of NK cells upon activation, which can otherwise diminish the cells’ anti-tumor activity. The novel immunotherapy is being tested for the first time in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or B-cell lymphoma at the M Health-University of Minnesota Medical Center.
 
As Dr. Walcheck summarizes, “The enhanced receptor binds to antitumor therapeutic antibodies in a more stable manner, In turn, the engineered NK cells more efficiently attach to antibody-coated tumor cells and kill them.”
 
To read more, please visit the VBS Website.