Synthetic immunobiology boosts the IQ of T cells

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Science  30 Oct 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6260, pp. 514-515
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad5289

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Pharmaceutical small-molecule drugs are the first “pillar” of modern medicinal therapeutics, with recombinant protein biologics claiming the second pillar. If the emergent third pillar of medicine is cell-based therapeutics, cellular immunotherapy of cancer stands as the pillar's current poster child (1). This approach includes adoptive T cell therapy, which has seen major advances recently. Underlying some of this progress are developments in synthetic tumor recognition receptors. Although it's early days for applied synthetic immunobiology, increasing momentum in this field may soon lead to the application of engineered T cells to a broader spectrum of cancers as well as to infectious and autoimmune diseases.