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In the latest vote of confidence that cellular immunotherapy is going to live up to its potential for transforming the way cancer is treated, this week Gilead Sciences purchased Kite Pharma, a leader in the development of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, for $11.9 billion dollars. Just two days later the FDA formally approved Novartis Phamaceuticals’ Kymriah, making it the first ever CAR T cell therapy to reach market.  To say the least, it’s been a good week for cancer immunotherapy.

As the traditional oncology pharmacopia of small molecules continues to be supplemented with biologics such as checkpoint inhibitors and cellular therapies, there is a growing potential for boosting cancer killing efficacy by combining different modalities. In a highly creative example of this, Leonard Seymour and colleagues at the University of Oxford recently produced an oncolytic virus that expresses a secreted form of an EpCAM-targeting bispecific T cell engager (BiTE).  While the virus alone is capable of killing cancer cells, the secreted BiTE molecule recruits T cells to kill neighboring cancer cells within the tumor microenvironment.  To learn how the Oxford team optimized their virus and evaluated its killing efficacy using xCELLigence Real-Time Cell Analysis, click here.

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For additional examples of how xCELLigence Real-Time Cell Analysis is being used to develop diverse cancer immunotherapies, click here.