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Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD


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FDA Grants New Therapy for Sickle Cell Treatment

May 5, 2020 10:05:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Gene Therapy, Cell Therapy, Stem Cells

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A newly developed single-treatment approach, uses autologous gene therapy and CD34 stem cells to improve erythrocyte function in SSD patients.

Sickle cell disease (SSD) refers to a group of inherited erythrocyte disorders. Hemoglobin in people with SSD becomes defective leading to abnormal shaping of erythrocytes. The defective hemoglobin form, hemoglobin S, replaces the normal hemoglobin A. The abnormally crescent or sickle-shaped erythrocytes cause a number of illnesses associated with the clogging of vessels, poor oxygen flow to organs, and associated damage.

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MLL Gene May Drive Hematopoietic Stem Cell Production

Apr 21, 2020 10:07:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Stem Cell Therapy, Stem Cells

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Research out of the University of Colorado found that by increasing expression of the MLL gene in induced Pluripotent Stem Cells they could stimulate hematopoietic stem cell production.

The mixed-lineage leukemia 1 (MLL1) gene is disrupted in certain types of acute leukemias due to incorrect fusion with other genes. The majority of patients with leukemias resulting from MLL1 gene fusions are infants under one year of age with primarily acute lymphoblastic leukemias. Some patients with MLL1-related leukemia are those who developed it after treatment with certain chemotherapeutic agents. This subset of patients may rise due to the increased development and use of immunotherapies targeting B-lymphoid cell surface markers.

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Finding Therapy for Sex-Biased Autoimmune Conditions

Apr 14, 2020 10:02:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Autoimmune Disorders, T Cells

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By observing T cells, researchers are better identifying the connections between estrogen, testosterone, and autoimmune diseases.

The most common autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel disease (IBD), and systemic lupus erythematous (SLE), affect women significantly more than men in terms of incidence, disease severity, progression, and response to therapy. Various studies have been conducted to explore the basis of the sexual dimorphism of autoimmune diseases. A prominent factor is the role of sex hormones in the sex-based differences associated with autoimmune diseases.

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X-ALD Patients Hope to See Results With Cell-Based Gene Therapy

Mar 31, 2020 10:06:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Gene Therapy, Bone Marrow, Cell Therapy, CNS/Neurodegeneration

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As Phase 3 clinical trials begin for Lenti-D as a treatment for patients with X-ALD, the drug also shows promise for treating a range of neurodegenerative diseases.

X‐linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X‐ALD) is a peroxisomal disorder resulting from a mutation in the human ATP-binding cassette, sub-family D, member 1 gene (ABCD1). The ABCD1 gene codes for the adrenoleukodystrophy protein (ALDP) needed for very-long-chain fatty acids (VLCFAs) to enter peroxisomes for degradation. When this process is disrupted, the VLCFAs accumulate in various tissues of the body, including the brain. VLCFA accumulation and demyelination of brain white matter lead to the severe neurological symptoms seen with X-ALD.

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Memory T Cells in Mice Aid Immunity During Periods of Food Scarcity

Mar 17, 2020 10:12:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in T Cells, Immunotherapy (Immunology)

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Researchers are studying the importance of white adipose tissue and its role in storing memory T cells.

The idea that if you don’t eat enough, you’ll get sick may be true in some ways, but there is new information available revealing that the immune system may have a strategy to keep fighting infectious agents even when food is scarce.

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