To the Laboratory!

Shreeya D -

Hey everyone!

Welcome back to the weekly check in. This week I began working in the lab, doing more hands-on activities and monitoring the cultured T-cells. While working in the lab, I was able to understand how crucial the lab work is to advancing the field of immunotherapy. For instance, researchers spend hours scrutinizing cancer cells under a microscope to identify specific antigens that can serve as targets for immunotherapy. Through a lot of computational analyses, potential targets are identified and rigorously validated to ensure their suitability for therapeutic intervention.

Additionally, since immunotherapy is patient-specific, we investigate the many aspects of the body’s immune system: immune checkpoint blockade, cytokine therapy, immune cell activation, and more. Specifically, researchers focus on identifying the proper biomarkers to predict the treatment response, monitor disease or cancer progression, and inform personalized treatment approaches; this involves integrating genomic and immunological analyses to reveal molecular signatures- a molecule that shows signs of abnormal behavior or a disease- associated with therapeutic outcomes. This entire process allows for us to properly manipulate and enhance the patient’s T-cells to provide a proper anti-cancer response.

From investigating novel methods to optimizing treatment strategies, the scope of immunotherapy research is vast and multifaceted, with research at its core, driving its progress and identifying vulnerabilities that can be exploited to develop innovative treatments. Perhaps we might even see a combination of techniques being used to treat cancer.

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