LEXINGTON, MASS. (WHDH) - A local company is on a mission to revolutionize cancer treatment.

MiNK Therapeutics, based in Lexington, believes its new cell therapy program could eventually replace chemotherapy with a less invasive treatment. The program is in clinical trials, but the company told 7NEWS it is already seeing encouraging results.

“Advancing a very specific cell therapy, sort of a ‘living medicine’ as we call it, for immune-related diseases that includes cancer and severe infections, lung diseases,” said Dr. Jennifer Buell, president and CEO of MiNK Therapeutics.

The company said the key to the treatments are rare cells called “NKT cells,” considered the most highly-conserved and potent cells in immunity, according to Buell. Company representatives said the therapy involves transferring the rare cells from donors to patients who need them most.

“We’re able to isolate from a single donor and generate 5,000 doses from that donor,” Buell said. “And then expand them, and we can continue to evaluate their ability to kill cancer.”

MiNK Therapeutics presented their findings at a major conference in Boston over the past weekend, with representatives stating the findings were persuasive.

“They can kill cancer cells, they can dampen proinflammatory cytokines, they can eliminate infections,” Buell added.

MiNK is also reporting promising results when it comes to patients who have stopped responding to other therapies.

“(We’re) already seeing that patients are seeing one or two or three visits without their disease progressing, which we believe, after they’ve progressed on what’s commonly used, is a marked improvement,” Buell said.

According to the company, its teams have been collaborating with regulators and will present more data at an upcoming cancer conference early next year.

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