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Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD


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What Are the Benefits to Using Disease State Samples?

Mar 19, 2018 10:18:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Basic Research

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Disease state specimens boost the ability to achieve scientific advances and characterize the cellular and molecular features of a disease and its progression.

Progress in personalized medicine continues as more methods are developed to enhance diagnostic and prognostic efforts. Molecular technologies allow the identification of factors that can be used for early disease diagnosis, prediction of disease susceptibility, monitor disease development, determine treatment effectiveness, and to determine a patient’s disease prognosis. The availability of disease state specimens has bolstered the ability to achieve these advances and to characterize the cellular and molecular features of a disease and its progression.

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Versatility and Specificity of CAR-T Cell Cytokines

Dec 13, 2017 8:43:54 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in PBMCs, Immunotherapy (Immunology)

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In chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell immunotherapy, T cells are obtained from a patient and genetically modified to express specific receptors (CARs) against tumor antigens. The best studied and successful CAR-T cells target the CD19 antigen on neoplastic B cells. However, this targeted approach gives quite variable results. The secretion by CD19 CAR-T cells of various cell signaling molecules varies between patients and individual CAR-T cells. The question then is how to measure the ability of CD19 CAR-T cells to release signals, after a specific antigenic challenge and correlate that to patient responses.

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CAR-T: The Designer Tumor Therapy Frontier

Dec 4, 2017 8:00:25 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in CAR-T, Immunotherapy (Immunology)

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Personalized medicine is taking new and powerful forms in the field of immunotherapy. The technology behind making customized tumor-destroying cells, thought of not long ago as science-fiction, is now a reality. [1,2] Chimeric Antigen Receptor T cells, or CAR-T cells, are designer, precision built personal immunotherapeutic agents that target an individual’s tumor. The use of CAR-T cells is a means of using the body’s own immune system arsenal to attack cancer cells.

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Receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 1-derived peptide as target for the design of cytotoxic T cell-based immunotherapy

Nov 27, 2017 8:00:30 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Cytotoxic T Cells

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Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common form of leukemia in adults. It is due to the growth of neoplastic B cells in the bone marrow, blood, and lymphoid tissues. People with relapsed/refractory high-risk CLL do not respond to conventional treatments. A possible valuable strategy to design T-cell−based treatment involves the receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 1 (ROR1). ROR1 mRNA is found to be highly expressed in CLL cells; however, it is not found to be expressed in other bone marrow–derived cells, including blood cells, or normal adult non-hematopoietic cells. Higher expression of ROR1 in CLL cells was correlated with lower CLL survival. Therefore, ROR1 may play a key role in the progression of CLL.

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Characterization of T Cell Subsets in Adult Minimal Change Disease

Nov 22, 2017 8:00:42 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Cytotoxic T Cells, T Cells

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Minimal change disease (MCD) is a kidney disease characterized by pathology in the glomeruli. The disease has its name because changes associated with it can only be seen via electron microscopy. The effects on the glomeruli lead to its increase in permeability and subsequent severe loss of proteins in the urine. Immunological changes in the kidney tissue are thought to promote the development of MCD. Research studies have suggested that abnormalities in Foxp3 T regulatory (Treg) cells, which control immune homeostasis, are involved in MCD pathogenesis.

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