Cytotoxic T Cell Therapy Might Be Possible in COVID-19

By Reuters Staff

September 25, 2020

(Reuters) - Cytotoxic T cell therapy may be feasible in patients with COVID-19 despite a potential hurdle, researchers say.

The approach involves treating critically ill COVID-19 patients with T-lymphocytes obtained from donors who successfully fought off the new coronavirus virus. But steroids, which are being increasingly used to treat these patients, are toxic to lymphocytes, likely canceling out any beneficial effects of the immunotherapy.

In a report posted on bioRxiv ahead of peer review, researchers describe a possible workaround. They say they have figured out a way to take donor T cells that target the novel coronavirus and make them resistant to the deadly effects of steroids.

"We are currently working on ... developing clinical trials to determine safety and efficacy," coauthor Dr. Katy Rezvani of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center told Reuters.

SOURCE: bioRxiv, online September 15, 2020.