Various studies have shown that immunotherapy can be the future of treating complicated genetic and non-genetic diseases. Apart from trying to reengineer the DNA structure of humans to fight a disease, scientists have also taken interest in increasing the immunity of an individual naturally. Strengthening the natural killer (NK) cells of the immune system is one such initiative.
What Are NK cells of the Immune System?
NK cells of the immune system are similar to T-cells present in the white blood platelets. NK cells are an inherent part of an individual’s immune system and are considered the first responders in the event of an infectious invasion.
Joseph Sun, Immunologist at the Sloan Kettering Institute said that “The more we can understand what drives these cells, the better we can program them to fight disease.”
How Do Natural Killer Cells Function?
While the T-cells concentrate more on fighting the disease, the NK cell’s prime task is to do damage control. They prevent further exposure to the foreign cell by closing any open wounds, restricting any spread of the infection, and by making the area ready for the T-cells to perform their duty.
How to Improvise Natural Killer Cells?
Immunotherapy involves injecting a manually grown group of immune cells into an individual to help the immune system fight against a disease efficiently.
Aerobic glycolysis is a metabolic process that speeds up the performance of T-cells on exposure to an infectious foreign cell, various studies on the T-cells done by MSK and other researchers have shown how activated T-cells can be created in a lab and be introduced into a human.
Researchers of the Sloan Kettering Institute have taken up a study in a similar path to identify the factor that fuels an immediate response from the NK cells of the immune system in order to create it manually and reintroduce the same to minimize the damage created by cancerous or other infectious cells naturally.
The study published in the Cell Reports journal on June 1st is in its trial phase at present and maintaining the stamina of these artificially produced NK cells of the immune system during induction is the current challenge for researchers conducting the study.