By no means should cyborgs be disparaged—even if they are very small. For instance, the cellular cyborgs that serve as living drugs should be accorded the utmost respect. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) certainly thinks so. Since 2017, the agency has approved multiple cellular cyborgs—more commonly known as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies—for various blood cancers.
In these therapies, the patient’s own T cells are collected and genetically engineered so that they produce an artificial protein—the CAR—that will target specific antigens found on cancer cells. Once the cells are engineered, they are infused back into the patient.
Unlike the all-but-unstoppable cyborgs of science fiction, CAR T cells are, well, stoppable. For example, they have struggled against solid tumors. Consequently, some therapeutic developers have been exploring alternatives to CAR T cells. One such company is Alloplex Biotherapeutics. It claims to have a highly differentiated, nonengineered, cellular therapy platform with potentially broad antitumor activity across multiple tumor types.