high_schoolClass of 2023Dublin, California
- "How have stem cell therapies advanced to address barriers in the efficiency of the cancer treatment?" with mentor Jessica (July 14, 2022)
How have stem cell therapies advanced to address barriers in the efficiency of the cancer treatment?
Started Feb. 2, 2022
Abstract or project description
Stem cell therapy is an important treatment in the context of cancer, both as a replacement for affected cells after chemotherapy destroys them and as a drug delivery vector. However, the use of embryonic stem cells in the treatment of various diseases has been long disputed for its accessibility and ethical implications. These cells are controversial due to their origin from fetal cells. Allogeneic stem cells have been a proposed alternative to this controversial treatment. While a preferred treatment, donor stem cells are accompanied by a host of issues like being recognized as a foreign substance by the host and triggering an immune response, chemoattraction by tumor cells, and host engrafting. Relatively recent advancements in the field have contributed to the search for a solution to these problems. Modifications to the surface of stem cells have been used to help them evade the host immune response and engraftment. Chemoattraction causes tumor tropism–the movement of a stem cell towards a tumor–but what was initially a problem is being used as a solution to efficiently deliver cancer treatments with the help of improved targeting through Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) technology. CAR technology is also being used to edit donor stem cells to find and kill cancer cells. This technology adds a tumor targeting receptor onto the surface of stem cells to decrease off target effects. Additional research is being conducted to further improve the accuracy of cancer targeting treatments through the use of integrins. Clinical trials have yielded promising results for these advancements in the treatment of various cancers.