An appealing alternative to traditional vaccinations is the transfer of specific immune cells, particularly long-living T memory cells, into a patient in order to reinforce the immune system. Pathogen-specific T memory donor cells can effectively support immune responses to specific viruses such as the Epstein-Barr virus or the cytomegalovirus when they are transferred to patients with compromised immune systems. The patient’s immune system is strengthened by the donor cells resulting in an effect similar to that of a passive vaccine.
Targeted Support for the Immune System
Prof Dirk Busch, DZIF scientist at the TU Munich is also pursuing these novel treatment approaches. Together with other researchers in the USA and certain industrial partners, DZIF researchers are developing methods to prepare donor cells for clinical application. These methods are already being tested in a clinical trial funded by the DZIF.