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Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD


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Researchers Discover Antigen-Specific pTfh Cells in Patients with COVID-19

Feb 2, 2021 10:23:39 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in T Cells, Immunotherapy (Immunology)

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Researchers found that follicular helper T-cells respond in different ways to structural proteins in COVID-19. They have been studying how the response happens over time.

Several studies report the observance of helper T-cell responses to the virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, in over 80% of individuals recovering from COVID-19. Besides helping in developing cytotoxic T cells, helper T cells stimulate B cells to produce antibodies. Therefore, T cells may help in the development of neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.

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Researchers Discover New Way to Empower T Cells' Anti-Tumor Activity

Jan 5, 2021 10:08:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Cancer, T Cells

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Researchers have discovered that the use of antibody blocks TREM2 proteins can empower immune cells and destroy tumors, and eliminate completely in mouse models when they were combined with anti-PD-1 immunotherapy. 

Anti-cancer immunotherapy uses the body’s immune system to destroy tumor cells. Despite breakthroughs in this medical arena, a limited number of patients actually benefit from these therapies. A significant reason for the less-than-desirable responses is tumor cells’ ability to circumvent various T-cell immune mechanisms. Therefore, populations of resistant tumor cells hinder the effectiveness of current immunotherapeutic approaches in many patients.

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T Cell Analysis Could Predict Type I Diabetes Immunotherapy Response

Dec 22, 2020 10:02:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in T Cells

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Researchers at University College London found that the analysis of T Cells slowed the reduction in beta-cell functions, noting that some benefited more than others.

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease that is T-cell–mediated. CD4+ T-helper cells and CD8+ cytotoxic T cells are thought to be involved in destroying insulin-producing β-cells. These immune cells and related subsets change in number and distribution throughout T1D pathogenesis. It is known that the level of T follicular helper cells (Tfh cells) in the peripheral blood of patients with T1D increase is higher compared to that in healthy patients.

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Patients with Advanced Bladder Cancer May See Prolonged Survival with Immunotherapy

Dec 1, 2020 10:05:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Cancer, Immunotherapy (Immunology)

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Published in the medical journal New England Journal of Medicine, a study found the proven drug, avelumab, may help the survival rate of those diagnosed with bladder cancer. 

According to the American Cancer Society, the 2020 United States estimates for bladder cancer cases are approximately 81,400 for new cases and 17,980 deaths. However, bladder cancer is a worldwide concern being the 13th most common cancer. Platinum-based chemotherapy is the standard-of-care for advanced urothelial carcinoma. Nevertheless, progression-free and overall survival are minimal with chemotherapy.

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Clinical Trials Begin for CAR-T Immunotherapy for Metastatic Prostate Cancer

Nov 24, 2020 10:03:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Cancer, T Cells, NK Cells

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Clinical trials have begun with its first round of Metastatic Prostate Cancer patients for immune cell therapy. 

Chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy uses the body’s own immune cells to target tumor cells. T cells are taken from a patient’s body then genetically modified to target specific protein markers on tumor cells. As research and development of the next generation of cell therapies continue, new efforts are underway to discover new targets for CAR-T cell development.

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