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UAB Researchers Developing New Cancer Treatment

UAB Campus
University of Alabama - Birmingham campus

Researchers at UAB are seeking approval from the Food and Drug Administration regarding a new potential treatment for cancer.

Scientists say they’ve developed a way to genetically modify a cancer fighting immune system cell so that it survives chemotherapy. Project Director Dr. Lawrence Lamb says the so called Gamma Delta T-cells recognize cancer cells because of signals of stress the infected cells give off in the patient.

“Because of the stress, they express proteins on their surface that signal that they’re distressed. And the Gamma Delta T-cell, the lymphocyte that we’re working with as therapy, recognizes cells that are distressed and kills them.”

Lamb says immune cells that survive chemotherapy can continue attacking cancer cells. UAB is seeking FDA approval to begin trials to better refine the treatment. Last week, the FDA gave approval to what’s considered the first-ever cancer treatment using genetically modified immune cells.

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.
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