How can TILs be used to treat melanoma?
TIL therapy is where TILs are taken directly from the patient’s melanoma itself as they already recognise many targets on the melanoma cells. This makes the TILs very useful in treating melanoma because they can already identify it by themselves without having to be altered.
To effectively use TILs to treat melanoma researchers can help them to overcome the way that the melanoma cells can hide from the immune system, which allow it to grow and multiply. Because it uses the immune system, TIL therapy is a type of immunotherapy, and it can also be referred to as personalised cancer treatment.
Researchers currently think this can be done in two ways:
- By growing the TILs to very large numbers so that the patient’s body has a much larger army of immune cells that are already trained to recognise and attack that patient’s specific melanoma.
- By engineering the TILs to have certain characteristics which improve their ability to target and attack the patient’s specific melanoma (cNeT therapy)