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Researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital and MIT took mini-antibodies from alpacas Bryson and Sanchez. Then they shrunk the mini-antibodies into even smaller nanobodies and engineered these nanobodies onto CAR-T cells. During this process, they discovered a new form of cell therapy.

The goal is to enhance CAR-T cells’ targeting abilities by targeting immunosuppressive proteins in the tumour microenvironment. Using the idea that nanobodies have this targeting ability, the researchers created nanobody-based CAR-T cells for testing in mouse models. They discovered that these CAR-T cells significantly slowed tumour growth in melanoma and colon cancer mouse models, and improved their survival without readily apparent side effects.

It is believed that the combination of factors are the key to increasing the effectiveness of CAR-T cell therapy. By inducing inflammatory immune response and increasing cancer drug permeability to tumour sites using nanobody engineering of CAR-T, this potential ability to target and kill solid tumours with precision through combination therapy could potentially be the breakthrough for solid cancer treatment using CAR-T technology. (Source)

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