T cell exhaustion poses a significant challenge in immuno-oncology as these fatigued cells, responsible for combatting cancer and chronic viral infections, struggle to reach their full potential. Luckily epigenetic mechanisms offer a pathway to comprehend this issue and help develop strategies for reinvigorating exhausted T cells.
To help shed light on this Revvity’s Dr. Verena Brucklacher-Waldert, from Immune Cell Screening Services, has provided here insights into the epigenetics of T cell exhaustion and the practical applications of CRISPR screens. By delving into the intricate web of gene expression, we’re aiming to enhance the effectiveness of immunotherapies for the betterment of everyone.
Overcoming CAR-T therapy challenges
CAR-T cell therapies hold great promise for treating cancer, but T cell exhaustion remains a hindrance. Our objective is simple, to improve therapeutic outcomes by overcoming this challenge and restoring the optimal functioning of CAR-T cells. For this, we’ve developed primary immune cell-based assays that provide valuable insights into the underlying mechanisms of T cell exhaustion. By studying primary human T cells and using CRISPR editing techniques, you can pinpoint the genes responsible for T cell exhaustion and explore potential therapeutic targets.
Now working with primary immune cells comes with its own set of challenges, such as limited cell yield, low viability, and low gene editing efficiency. However, this is the sort of challenge scientists at Revvity relish and have successfully developed strategies to overcome them, such as sourcing suitable blood products, optimizing culture conditions, and employing advanced gene editing tools.
The power of immune cell screening
The impact of primary immune cell-based assays doesn’t just stop at understanding T cell exhaustion. These assays contribute to the entire drug discovery process, from identifying therapeutic targets to assessing the effects of drugs on immune cell function. They provide you with an accurate representation of the human immune system, paving the way for developing next-generation therapies.
As the field advances and new avenues of improvement are explored, so do our scientists. We’re looking into miniaturization, organ-on-a-chip solutions, and 3D assays to create more physiologically relevant models. As well as improvements in automation and enhanced data analysis tools to scale up experiments and extract even more meaningful insights.
What the future holds for this space
Here at Revvity we feel the future is beckoning us to unravel the secrets of T cell exhaustion and harness the power of epigenetics. Through collaboration and unwavering dedication, we’re working towards a world where T cells are revitalized and serve as resilient guardians of our immune system. To dive deeper into this captivating world of T cell exhaustion and immune cell epigenetics, we invite you to download the full interview with Dr. Verena Brucklacher-Waldert. Together, let us forge a path towards more effective therapies, and transform the lives of those battling cancer, infectious diseases, and chronic inflammation.