While immune cells are nothing new, the fields of immunotherapy and immune cell banking surrounding them have continued to grow and evolve at a rapid rate. With so many new therapies and innovations being announced, some important questions are asked and more clarification needs to be provided.

Answering Your Questions About Immune Cells and Immune Cell Banking

To help set the record straight, here is a list of general questions (and answers) related to immune cells, immunotherapy and the role immune cell banking can play in your future health. 

What are Immune Cells?

 

Immune cells are a complex network of cells that make up the entire immune system. These cells include, stem cells, plasma cells, antibodies, neutrophils cells, red blood cells, platelets, dendritic cells, T-cells, B-cells and NK cells. They are the first line of defense against infection, disease and harmful foreign substances that enter the body.

What are T-cells?

 

T-cells are a unique part of the immune system that only focus on specific foreign particles. These cells are special because they are very selective as to when they attack. T-cells generally wait until they encounter the specific antigen they were designed to eliminate. Because of their singular nature, they tend to maintain a state of homeostasis until they need to respond.

 

What is Immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy is a treatment that utilizes cells from a person’s own immune system to help fight infections, allergies and even diseases such as cancer. Immunotherapies generally aim to either activate or suppress the immune system. Activation immunotherapies are designed to amplify an immune response against a specific threat, while suppression immunotherapies are used to reduce an overactive immune response. In the last few decades, immunotherapy has played an increasingly important role in treating different types of cancer. Recently, new groundbreaking immunotherapy treatments such as CAR T-cell therapy are being approved as viable treatments for certain cancers, when traditional methods such as radiation, chemotherapy and surgery fail to deliver the desired results. 

What is CAR T-cell Therapy?

 

CAR T-cell therapy is a form of immunotherapy that uses a patient’s own T-cells to help them fight against certain cancers. Blood is drawn from the patient and the T-cells are processed and separated. These T-cells are then modified in a lab to produce special structures called chimeric antigen receptors (CARs). These CARs allow the cells to bind to certain proteins located on the surface of cancer cells. When CAR T-cells are infused back into the patient, they seek out, attack and destroy those specific tumor cells. 

Is CAR T-cell Therapy FDA Approved?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved CAR T-cell therapy as a treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma.

What is the Future of CAR T-cell Therapy?

CAR T-cell therapy has the potential to change how doctors approach the treatment for many types of cancer. Currently, clinical trials are being conducted to see CAR T-cell therapy’s effectiveness for cervical cancer, head and neck cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. The results from these CAR T-cell therapy trails have been impressive, but the treatment is still relatively new and requires more research. 

What is Immune Cell Banking?

 

Immune cell banking involves cryopreserving a patient’s immune cells in a dedicated facility for future use. The process for immune cell banking is identical to that of giving blood. About 200ml of blood is drawn from the patient, processed and separated into different components in fully automated and CGMP compliant devices and cryogenically frozen. The patient’s valuable cell sample is then kept in a fully automated storage and retrieval system to make sure they are viable and ready to use whenever they are needed.

Why Choose Immune Cell Banking

Banking your immune cells is a long term investment in your health, almost like taking out an insurance policy on yourself. There are rapid advancements being made in the field of immunotherapy, and therapies like CAR T-cell are being used to treat an ever-growing list of cancers. Many major pharmaceutical companies are investing heavily in cell-based therapies and are predicting that it will become a major pillar of modern medicine. If you are a healthy person, if you believe in science, technology advancements and the future of medicine, banking your immune cells today may quite literally help save your life.

When is the Best Time to Bank your Immune Cells?

Ideally, the best time to bank your immune cells is while you are still young and strong. The age range is generally between the age of 18 and 65, but it is best to bank your cells before the onset of any potential serious diseases. 

Why Bank Your Immune Cells Now?

As you continue to age, your immune cells begin to deteriorate over time and become less effective. You will never be in a better position than you are at this exact moment to bank your immune cells. In a sense, you are taking a snapshot of the best version of your cells while they are at their healthiest to use them later in life when you need them most.   

What if I Wait to Bank My Immune Cells Until When I Actually Need Them? 

If you put off banking your immune cells and wait until the moment you actually need to use them most, you are not giving yourself the best chance for success. CAR T-cell therapy is generally used for patients who are battling cancer when all other options have been explored. That means those T-cells have already been exposed to radiation and chemotherapies, along with being part of a compromised immune system. Using healthy, preserved, pre-cancer immune cells greatly improves the outcome of CAR T-cell therapy. 

How Can HealthBanks Help?

Since HealthBanks’ inception in 2001, it’s grown into one of the world’s leading private and public cell banking organizations. In 2019, HealthBanks became the first cryobank network to offer immune cell banking and storage for future use in immunotherapies. With the emerging success of CAR T-cell therapies and other cell therapies, such as CAR-NK and Dendritic, as a viable cancer treatment they have expanded their ever-evolving suite of cryopreservation solutions to meet growing demand. HealthBanks is proud to use the best automated technology and smart robotic storage solution to preserve your precious cells. No other private cell banks in the US uses the same caliber of technology to protect your investment.

Using the experience and knowledge of its leadership team, HealthBanks is fulfilling its mission to make the benefits of cell and gene therapies accessible to everyone.

How Can You Bank Your Cells Today? 

Healthbanks offers comprehensive stem cell and immune cell banking options. Their state-of-the-art bioprocessing technology and world class customer service allows them to provide the best cord blood and immune cell banking experience in the industry. To learn more about their services and technologies and how you can begin investing in your future health today, visit healthbanks.us.