Gene-modified T-cells: Going into battle

Timelapse video shows engineered T-cells killing cancer cells

The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult is developing new ways to examine how well gene modified T-cells can kill cancer cells. T-cells, which form part of the human immune system and have the ability to kill tumour cells, are at the frontier of medical research in oncology.

By effectively ‘training’ T-cells to recognise proteins which are expressed on the surface of certain types of blood cancer cells, they are able to recognise them and initiate a killing response.

This time-lapse video demonstrates the activity of gene-modified T-cells, by recognising a specific protein on leukaemia cells.

In the video, the engineered T-cells have been stained with a fluorescent dye and appear blue. The cancer cells expressing the protein are dyed green. Once the cancer cells have been killed they change colour and appear red.

This video shows the mechanism and speed at which the T-cells recognise and then attack their cancer cells targets. Demonstrating not only their killing ability but also their potential as a therapy to treat patients suffering from Leukaemia.