Have you ever wondered if there was a more adequate way to prepare for possible immune system issues that may occur down the road, such as those caused by cancers? There are several conditions and diseases that can attack your immune system, weakening it to the point where having a reserve for immunotherapy would be greatly beneficial, and that is where immune cell banking comes in.
What is Immune Cell Banking?
Imagine you are diagnosed with advanced B-cell lymphoma and find yourself short on T-cells in your immune system, causing systemic issues throughout your body. If you had a storage of immune cells somewhere, they could be replicated and then re-introduced to your body in order to combat the disease. Immune cell banking is exactly this storage that you are in need of. While you are still young, your cells are in much healthier shape, with fewer defects caused by the aging process. So, as a young adult, you can set up an appointment with an immune cell bank and have them extract 150-200ml of blood intravenously, process it through highly specialized machinery to extract the immune cells, then store them in deep freeze storage at a facility that will keep the cells at -196 Celsius. While in storage, they will be preserved to the point that, if they are ever needed, you’ll have healthy immune cells that are virtually untouched and ready for immunotherapies.
What are the Pros to Immune Cell Banking?
The number one pro to immune cell banking is that you will have a storage of immune cells available for you if you ever need them for the treatment of a developing or rampaging disease for which immunotherapy is a viable treatment option.
The next pro is the fact that current immunotherapy options require that doctors only use immune cells from the patient, which means they cannot use immune cells from someone else in immunotherapy sessions for you. Immune cell banking gives them access to those cells from your own body so they can go forward with immunotherapy.
If your family has a history of cancer, then a pro to immune cell banking is that you can be prepared for the possible eventuality of developing cancer yourself. While your cells will still have the same genetics, they are from a younger, healthier you, and they will have been preserved as such, making them far more useful to your immune system.
What are the Current Cons to Immune Cell Banking?
As mentioned above, if you are predisposed to cancer due to family genetics, that means your younger cells can also have any number of genetic disorders hidden in your DNA. If you have stored your cells in an immune cell banking facility and you start developing certain genetic disorders, those cells are unlikely to be able to help you.
Many would also consider the cost of storage fees for immune cell banking to be a con. However, there are very affordable options when it comes to immune cell banking, and it’s a small price to pay for a chance at overcoming a serious health condition later in your life.
Reviewed by Paul V. Holland, MD