Our immune system doesn’t only seek and destroy foreign substances from outside our body, it also eliminates problematic cells internally, like cancer cells and tumor growth. However, with age our immune system becomes less efficient and internal cellular errors become more probable, leading to an increased likelihood of cancer.
In an effort to give the immune system a kick, CAR-T cell therapy has been used against malignancies, especially blood cancers, which other treatments do not effectively treat. At the same time, this treatment option is limited by poor T cell survival and lack of persistent efficacy against cancer cells. Along those lines, researchers have sought new ways to improve CAR-T cell longevity and persistent capabilities to fight against cancer.
In a non-peer reviewed preprint report, Zhong and colleagues from the Capital Medical University in Beijing China demonstrate that treating CAR-T cells with 100 µM of NMN significantly improves their efficacy and persistence to attack cancer cells. Moreover, NMN treatment enhances signs of delayed cell aging, like telomere length and reduces the buildup of dead or dying CAR-T cells. What’s more, when NMN-treated CAR-T cells were injected into mice that had experimentally-induced tumors, tumor sizes significantly diminished. These findings point to a new avenue where researchers may treat CAR-T cells with NMN to improve their viability and effectiveness to fight cancer.