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Peptide Pools for Immune Monitoring? PBMC from HemaCare Help Argue the Case

Jun 29, 2016 1:00:53 PM / by Maria posted in antigens, T Cells, Basic Research

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How often do predicted peptides actually get recognized by CD8+ cells? The surprising answer was provided in part by HemaCare's PBMC.

We all have our type -- HLA type, that is. Each human has up to six different HLA Class 1 molecules, from out of more than 100  MHC/HLA Class I alleles in existence to "choose" from. These allelic HLA variants are unique in their peptide-binding specificity, meaning that antigen recognition by CD8+ T cells depends on the alleles that you have. "Peptide recognition by CD8 cells is therefore highly variable among individuals of an outbred population, as variable as the HLA system itself." [1]

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Helping Bone Marrow Stem Cells Turn Back the Clock

May 30, 2016 1:00:21 PM / by Maria posted in Bone Marrow, Stem Cells, Basic Research

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Bone marrow stem cells, the source of immune cells, lose their mojo over time. Can research help them go an extra mile?

Ah, the aging process. Over time, cells lose the spring in their step, and tissues and organs aren't maintained the way we like them to be. The same holds true for our bone marrow stem cells. Long-lived cells of this type decline in their ability to generate the cell types that derive from them, including immune cells, which raises the risk of infections for elderly patients.

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Radiotherapy May Help Immunotherapy Find Its Mojo

Mar 31, 2016 1:00:06 PM / by Maria posted in Cancer, Cytotoxic T Cells, T Cells, Basic Research

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Some cancer cells that are irradiated appear to express proteins that promote the body's immune system. Leukopheresis product from HemaCare was key to this immunotherapy research.

Radiotherapy has long been used in the treatment of cancer. By damaging DNA, leading to cellular death, radiation therapy kills cancerous tissue; radiation beams can be sculpted such that normal tissue is largely spared. This type of cancer treatment has been known to be synergistic with chemotherapy. 

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"Extraordinary" CAR T Cells Eliminate Cancer After Stem Cell Transplant

Mar 21, 2016 1:00:05 PM / by Maria posted in Bone Marrow, Cancer, CAR-T, Stem Cells

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Donor-derived lymphocytes attack a patient's cancer -- but may attack the patient as well. Donor CAR T cells, on the other hand, brought remissions without this troubling complication.

CAR T cells continue to make waves: At the latest annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, it was announced that CAR T cells, in which T cells from a patient are genetically reprogrammed to target cancer cells, removed all traces of cancer in the bone marrow of 27 out of 29 acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients. Nineteen of 30 individuals with non-Hodgkin lymphoma also responded in the form of partial or complete responses. The cumulative successes found in CAR T cell studies have labeled them "extraordinary."[1]

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Translatable Research on Stem Cells ... from Fido and Fluffy?

Mar 9, 2016 1:00:48 PM / by Maria posted in arthritis, Cancer, clinical trials, Stem Cell Therapy, Stem Cells, Basic Research

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You can only learn so much from laboratory mice. Trials of stem cells conducted in our four-legged friends may serve as a bridge to human studies.

A staple in labs across the world, laboratory rodents are genetically homogenous, closely monitored, and are kept in standard, controllable environments -- and that's a problem. In the human real world, people are genetically different, have various diets and habits, and live in diverse environments. What's more, many times disease is induced in these animals, whereas in humans diseases are rarely planned and may have more than one cause. It's not very surprising that so many promising preclinical experiments do not pan out in human clinical trials. The cost of these failures is sky high, for companies, patients, and society.

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