What can I use my immune cells for?
The average person’s likelihood of a cancer diagnosis is about 33 percent. However, thanks in part to the development of T-cell immunotherapies, there are now anti-cancer treatments that rely on a patient’s own immune cells. One such treatment, known as chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR T) cell therapy, is FDA approved for B-cell lymphoma and other blood cancers. There are also developments being made in dendritic cell (DC) therapy for malignancies such as prostate cancer.
Why bank now?
There are three key scientific reasons that one should bank their immune cells while they are still young and healthy.
The body’s immune system decays over age. The effects of aging on the immune system are manifest at multiple levels – which include reduced production of B and T cells in bone marrow and thymus and diminished function of mature lymphocytes in secondary lymphoid tissues. As a result, elderly individuals do not respond to immune challenge as robustly as the young
The immune system is one of the most vulnerable targets during cancer treatment. Compounded by the use of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, a patient’s immune system is severely damaged and has little chance to recover before starting immunotherapy
In many cases of advanced cancer, cancer cells will enter circulation, invade and interfere with the body’s natural production of immune cells, making the system less “pure and healthy”. As a result, many cancer patients fail to obtain enough healthy T-cells to allow the production of enough effector cells (such as CAR-T cells) for treatment.
Age reduction of immune cells
It is long been know that the body’s immune system decays over age. Storing immune cells while the body is still young and healthy ensures that patients will have access to the best quality cells later in life.