Chronic Stress May Increase Cellular Aging in Women

A study using peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) demonstrates the link between women’s stress levels and shortened telomere length.

Stress is one of the body’s major means of reacting to life challenges, dangers, and difficulties. Various chemicals are released in the body that promote cellular and organ-level changes needed to cope with, adjust, and respond to stressors. The effects that are felt with chronic stress range anywhere from pain, digestive problems, and fatigue to sexual, cognitive, immunological, and emotional effects. Women are particularly vulnerable to the effects of stress due to unique challenges they face, including gender and race-based discrimination and forms of victimization.

HIV Cell Therapy in Development

Combining various treatment approaches is seen as a viable, more powerful means to achieve HIV cure states.

From the time that HIV-related illness and death was first realized in the 1980s until now, efforts to fully understand HIV infection and pathogenesis have been ongoing along with massive research efforts to discover a cure or means to control the spread of the virus. The newest antiviral therapies have made an extraordinary impact on the control of disease progression; however, these do not cure HIV infection and the viral activity returns shortly after antiviral dosing stops. Approaches to achieve HIV immunity are heavily studied, including developing means to provide HIV immunity in T cells and conferring HIV-resistance via gene editing. However, combining various approaches is seen as a viable, more powerful means to achieve HIV control or even a cure.

HemaCare Publication Illustrates Optimal Apheresis Collection Techniques

Cell therapy research publication RegMedNet has just posted HemaCare’s latest article on how to use apheresis and cell collection techniques to optimize starting material quality. [1]

An Expansive Donor Network Helps Guarantee Consistent Quality

Apheresis donor material is intrinsically variable, yet a successful cell therapy product must have consistent efficacy across a wide range of patients. How do we reconcile these realities? As a large-scale apheresis supplier, HemaCare understands that quality raw materials are a matter of careful planning and expertise. Inter-donor variability can impact critical parameters including cell collection volume, cell subtype composition and cell proliferation potential. [2] Each of these parameters impact apheresis unit potency, and can impact resource use and manufacturing efficiency.

How Stem Cell Therapy is Helping Prolong Lives

Stem cell treatments can have a significant impact on human health. These methods can prolong and even save lives.

Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that have the capacity of self-renewal and to develop into diverse cell types in different areas of the body. Given these characteristics, stem cells have become promising options to bolster regenerative medicine efforts that may provide therapeutic results that are not possible with current approaches. The utility of stems cells to renew tissues affected by trauma and degenerative conditions can provide breakthroughs in the treatment of numerous diseases, such as cardiovascular, neurological, and other diseases.

Mom's Cytotoxic T Cells from Dengue May Protect Babies Against Zika

Researchers investigated the fetal effects of Zika virus exposure in dengue-immune and nonimmune mice.

Outbreaks of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection in different parts of the world have raised awareness of its health effects. ZIKV is an RNA flavivirus and is transmitted by mosquitoes and sexual contact. An important feature of ZIKV infection is its maternal to fetal passage and induction of birth defects. Congenital Zika Syndrome has been described, and includes defects such as microcephaly, brain damage, eye defects, and musculoskeletal defects.

Research on Universal Cancer Vaccine

Researchers are hoping to develop a cancer vaccine to improve a patient’s immune system so they can destroy the cancer cells.

The objective of therapeutic cancer vaccines is to support and enhance a patient’s immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells while sparing surrounding normal cells. The first therapeutic immune cell–based cancer vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is Sipuleucel-T. Administration of this vaccine in patients with hormone-refractory prostate cancer lead to an increase in overall survival. Boosting T-cell responses against antigens that cause a number of diseases has been approached by autologous transfer of dendritic cells. A pilot study was conducted using dendritic cells pulsed with tumor lysate from patients with ovarian cancer. Vaccination of the patients stimulated T-cell responses to the tumor antigen led to an increase in patient survival. 

Can Stem Cells Treat Lyme Disease?

Because many people with Lyme disease do not fully recover with antibiotics alone, many are seeking stem cell treatments as an option.

Lyme disease is transmitted by the bite of blacklegged ticks (deer tick, Ixodes scapularis) infected with Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. A number of debilitating and long-lasting symptoms can include the development of a distinctive skin rash (erythema migrans), fever, fatigue, muscle pain, and headaches. Due to the nonspecific and diverse symptoms, Lyme disease is often misdiagnosed and can progress to serious conditions of the heart, nervous, and musculoskeletal systems.

Targeting T Cells to Treat IBD

Recent research looks into the relationship between T helper cells and the autoimmune conditions of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are two forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) caused by an immune dysfunction. People with IBD can experience diarrhea, rectal bleeding, constipation, abdominal pain and cramping, fatigue, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Dysregulated responses of a subset of CD4 T cells (T helper cells) are associated with autoimmune and chronic inflammatory conditions and may induce and maintain intestinal inflammation, but the mechanism is not fully understood. The primary cytokine secreted by T helper cells of the intestinal mucosa of people with IBD is interferon (IFN)-gamma. Recent research was conducted to better understand the role of IFN-producing CD4 T cells in the initiation and maintenance of IBD.

Combination of Cells Improves Immunotherapy

A recent study looked at how checkpoint inhibitors may impact the success of immunotherapy for cancer treatment.

Immune homeostasis is crucial for human and animal survival. The immune system is equipped with cells and factors that maintain a critical balance of signals that prevent immune dysfunction. Pathways that ensure this balance are immune checkpoints, and these are essential for the self-tolerance that prevents autoimmunity. Immune checkpoint proteins modulate T-cell responses to self-proteins and antigens, including tumor antigens. The proteins are expressed on the surface of cancer and cytotoxic T cells, and cancer cells use these to evade attack by T cells.

Treatment of Fibromyalgia as an Inflammatory Disease

Rheumatologists are recognizing the inflammatory component of fibromyalgia and that has led to studies using disease state primary cells to determine the best treatment approaches.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that is commonly considered a neurologic problem with multifocal pain as an important feature of the disease. However, rheumatologists are recognizing the inflammatory component of fibromyalgia and that pain my not be the primary feature of the condition. Other significant aspects of fibromyalgia are fatigue, sleep disorders, and cognitive impairments. Results of studies in patients with fibromyalgia suggest that excessive cytokine release may be the central cause of the development and symptomology of fibromyalgia.