Carl June, MD, the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy in the department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and director of Translational Research in the Abramson Cancer Center, is quoted in an article in The Scientist about research on new immunotherapies presented at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting this week. He said that researchers are now working out which extra genes they can insert into T cells to further promote target specificity, potency, and persistence in trials that modify patients' cells to attack their cancers. But he cautioned that this type of cell therapy requires researchers to tailor genetically modified cells to individuals patients, so it's not currently practical for large-scale application. These cells are already potent and durable enough to be effective, he said, but to make them "for the masses," researchers must create automated culturing systems. "We need to get robots to make them," said June. "We need mass manufacture."
The Scientist article