James Allison is an American immunologist who holds the position of Professor, Chair of Immunology and Executive Director of Immunotherapy Platform at the MD Anderson Cancer Centre. He has accomplished many discoveries in the field of Cancer Treatment and is the director of the Cancer Research Institute (CRI) as well.
He was the first person to isolate the T-cell antigen receptor complex protein from long term research in the operation of T-cell development and activation. His research involved tumour Immunotherapy and he discovered a theory where the antibody blockade of a T-cell inhibitory molecule, known as CTLA-4, could lead to enhanced anti-tumour immune responses and tumour rejection. Later on, other drugs were invented to target the T-cell inhibitory pathways which made up the treatment called “Immune Checkpoint Therapies”.
His wife Dr. Padmanee Sharma, M.D., Ph.D. is a Scientific Advisor at BioAtla focusing primarily on Immunotherapy. Dr. Padmanee is a Cancer Research Institute Investigator who has tested new prostate cancer immunotherapies, looking for distinctness in T cell subsets and function between pre-therapy blood and tissue samples vs post-therapy blood and tissue samples. She was the first to discover a T cell protein called ICOS which can boost the efficacy of some immunotherapy.
Together as a couple they are exploring combinations of Immunological Therapies and targeted drugs in preclinical studies to treat different types of cancer effectively.
UNDERSTANDING THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Our immune system consist of two types of white blood cells which are B-Cells and T- Cells. B-Cells are developed in the bone marrow and T-Cells in the thymus gland. These cells attack the foreign substances like germs and bacteria that enter our body. They recognise foreign particles called antigen with the help of T cell receptors (TCR). James Allison studied these implications for cancer and how T cells can destroy the tumours.
James’ lab developed an antibody that blocked the Cytotoxic T Lymphocyte-associated Antigen (CTLA-4) which he injected it into mice with cancer that resulted in the complete meltdown of the tumour. Therefore, during his further studies, he focused on the immune system instead of the cancerous cells.
Allison’s Immunotherapy drug was given to cancer patients and he observed improvements steadily even in an acute stage. He then established the Immunotherapy platform at MD Anderson Cancer Center to study immune responses in cancer patients.
Immunotherapy enhances the body’s immune system by strengthening it to fight or kill cancer cells. This process is long term as the cells remember and can differentiate between healthy cells and cancerous cells. It has very little side effects compared to other types of therapies or surgical procedures that risks killing healthy cells around tumours. Vaccinations and oral drugs are given to patients to build up their immune system which can prevent cancer from regrowing after Surgery.
Verita Life is now one of the world’s leading cancer treating platforms providing Integrative and Supportive Cancer treatments that can also complement Conventional Treatments. Along with reduction of tumour size and other improvements, our patients showed improvements with their overall well-being through our therapies that were personalised to their conditions. Immunotherapy has been successfully treating different types of cancer. For more information regarding Immunotherapy and our Cancer Treatment programmemes please contact us and our patient representatives shall get in touch at the earliest.
Source: The Washington Post