SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – A California company is taking a new approach in the fight against cancer.
Cell Vault is the world’s first T-cell bank. T-cells are a component of the immune system that attacks cellular abnormalities. CAR T-cell therapy removes T-cells from the body, modifies them and puts them back in the body to go after cellular mutations.
“We see the future for CAR T-cell therapy to combat many kinds of cancers in addition to those currently approved by the FDA. Cell Vault is giving people the ability to preserve and bank healthy, strong t-cells for future cancer treatment,” says Cell Vault founder Kevin Kirk. “This initial round of funding marks an important milestone – these therapies, and future treatments, are now more accessible to patients who bank their healthy t-cells with Cell Vault before cancer strikes.”
However, T-cells decrease and deteriorate as you age. Experts say they are also negatively impacted through traditional chemotherapy treatments.
That’s why Cell Vault came up with a plan for healthy people to bank their healthy T-cells now in order to use them to their full potential in case of a future cancer scare.
Organizers say Cell Vault uses the same technology that freezes eggs, and allows people to preserve the strongest version of their blood cells with a simple blood draw. The sample is processed and frozen using liquid nitrogen and stored.
“We are in the critical early stages with this technology,” says Parameswaran Hari, MD, Cell Vault Advisor and Chief of Hematology and Oncology in the Department of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin. “CAR T-cell therapy is still in early development but will be a household concept in the next few years. Right now, this therapy is approved for Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma, but hundreds of trials are currently underway to get it approved for a host of other diseases such as Breast Cancer.”
Clinical trials are currently testing the therapy for lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, mesothelioma and ovarian cancer.