Cancer researchers publish study on avidity enhancement of CAR T cells

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

May 25, 2022 -- A team of cancer researchers led by Dr. Marcela Maus have published a preclinical study detailing the use of the Lumicks z-Movi Cell Avidity Analyzer to provide more nuanced development of cancer treatments. The study focused on using Lumicks’ technology to identify chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells that are best suited to treat acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

AML is notoriously difficult to treat due to resistance to CAR T-cell therapies through the process of avidity escape. However, through "avidity enhancement," Maus' team seeks to increase cell-cell binding between tumor and CAR T cells to improve treatment outcomes.

Through the study published in Cancer Cell, Maus and fellow researchers have demonstrated the potential for Lumicks' cell avidity analyzer to assess CAR T cells for variants that have higher avidity. This study enables cell avidity to serve as a biomarker for the success of potential cancer therapies. The Lumicks avidity analyzer uses acoustics to measure interactions between cells, thus highlighting the CAR T cells with high avidity. As a result of this study, Maus' lab intends to streamline the drug development process with less failures and more targeted therapeutic development in a way that enables fast, predictive, and readily reproducible single-cell analysis.

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