An immune effector cell is a cell that can create an immune response within the body. These cells can be used to treat diseases.
Treatments are currently focused on using a type of white blood cell in the immune system called T-cells, to make a person’s own immune system target the specific disease affecting them.
The two main immune effectors cells types are:
- Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells which target cancer
- Antigen specific T-cells which target viruses, fungi, bacteria and can also be used for certain cancers.
CAR T-cells are engineered to make structures, called receptors, on their surface that attach to specific antigens on cancer cells.
They are manufactured in approved specialised laboratories.
Currently these treatments are used for blood cancers. But as research progresses it is likely other types of cancer will be able to be treated using these cell therapies.