T-Cell attacking a cancer cell

New paper in Nature Biotechnology

Friday 30 Nov 18


Sine Reker Hadrup
Head of Sections, Professor
DTU Health Tech
+4535 88 62 90


Amalie Kai Bentzen
DTU Health Tech
+4535 88 66 54

An international research team, headed by Professor Sine Reker Hadrup from DTU Nanotech, has developed a new screening tool to improve cancer immunotherapy.

A promising, but still experimental, cancer treatment called T-Cell Receptor (TCR) gene therapy takes advantage of T-cell’s ability to recognize and kill cancerous cells. Here the doctors retrieve white blood cells from the patient and program them to attack cancer cells by adding specific T-cell receptors. Afterwards they are put back into the patient to fight the cancer. A major challenge is that the T-cell receptors can accidentally misidentify healthy cells as cancer cells.

This new screening tool maps the T-cell receptors to get a better understanding of how and what they recognize as malicious cells. Reading - what the researchers have termed - the fingerprint of T-cell receptors makes it possible to discard the most risky and potentially harmful T-cell receptors before they are used for treatment. The intention is that this technique together with additional methods will make TCR gene therapy safer for the patients.

Read the full article: T cell receptor fingerprinting enables in-depth characterization of the interactions governing recognition of peptide–MHC complexes, Nature Biotechnology

The paper was also featured by Ingeniøren (in Danish) and Lundbeckfonden (in English)