According to a recent EurekAlert! article, researchers in Korea have developed a groundbreaking three-dimensional bioprinting technology for cancer treatment. The technique uses natural killer cells (NK cells) as a form of immunotherapy to eliminate cancer cells. By encapsulating NK cells in 3D-printed hydrogels, the tech enhances the viability and functionality of the immune cells, allowing them to effectively target and combat cancerous tissues.
Unlike traditional intravenous injections of NK cells, which have shown limited efficacy in clinical trials for solid tumors, this new method provides an optimized environment for the cells to retain their viability and actively engage with cancerous tissues. The hydrogels with embedded NK cells release the cells over time, enabling them to perform their immune functions and effectively home in on tumor cells. The research aims to improve the functionality of NK cells for cancer treatment, and potentially offer new avenues for enhanced cancer therapies.