The MD Anderson Cancer Center investigated how a patient’s anti-cancer T cells might be better protected from the cytotoxic effects of the anti-thymidylate drugs (AThys; such as methotrexate) used to treat lung, breast, colon, and pancreas cancers. Although AThys successfully attack cancer cells, the drugs also reduce a patient’s own anti-cancer T cell population, which plays an important role in helping the patient overcome the disease. Using Jurkat, AaPC cells, and mutated human proteins called muteins, researchers were able to manufacture T cells that were resistant to cytotoxic levels of AThys. The Cellometer K2 and Trypan Blue were used to maintain accurate cell counts throughout the experiment. This research opens new doors for anti-cancer T cell therapy, both in vitro and in vivo, for a variety of cancers.

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