Health Talks: What is TIL therapy for cancer, and how does it work?

Richard Wu, MD, PhD, a medical oncologist at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James), explains TIL therapy for cancer and the ongoing clinical trial at Ohio State that’s currently being considered by the Food and Drug Administration for wider use.

Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) is a type of immunotherapy that uses a patient's own immune cells to fight against cancer cells. The clinical trial is currently evaluating TIL therapy for melanoma and could be used for other forms of cancer, including lung, cervical and neck cancers.

TIL therapy works by separating the immune cells called lymphocytes from a patient’s surgically removed tumor. These immune cells are then grown in a lab over several days resulting in billions of newly supercharged TILs. Once infused back into the patient’s body, these cells go on to destroy and kill the cancer cells.

Dr. Wu says he’s excited at the prospect of using this promising new therapy in patients who haven’t seen success with other types of immunotherapies.

Watch the full Health Talks video above to learn more about:

  • How TIL therapy works
  • The types of cancers that can be treated with TIL therapy
  • The TIL therapy clinical trials under way at Ohio State
  • The difference between TIL and CAR T-cell therapy

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