Blog | HemaCare


Dec 30, 2016 12:00:55 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD

A new year means new immunotherapy advances using engineered T cells to better target foreign or disease-causing cells and molecules.A new year brings opportunities to reflect and make decisions to produce more success and happiness. These include New Year resolutions about stopping unhealthy habits and replacing with new healthy ones. Whether the goal is to eat more spinach or spend less time playing games on android phones, many will embark on changes aimed to reach health goals. There are new and emerging therapies that can help many who are struggling with medical issues to reach their health goals for the New Year. Developments such as in immunotherapy are changing the way medicine is practiced. It also provides new approaches that help our natural defense mechanisms lead us to healthier states.

Even when we do our best to take care of our health, sometimes our bodies succumb to diseases and conditions that we need help to combat. This is where new immunotherapy advances can give increasing hope for overcoming these conditions. For example, the treatment efficacy of engineered autologous (patient derived) T cells for immunotherapy has finally been demonstrated in clinical trials. Using engineered T cells provides a means to better target foreign or disease-causing cells and molecules.

In the case of B cell cancers, such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia and multiple myeloma, engineered T cells have been shown to be effective against these cancers. In a clinical trial of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, treatment using engineered T cells improved patient response to treatment and lowered progression to chemotherapy-resistant status. Some of those patients were in remission for over five years. Patients with multiple myeloma who did not respond to chemotherapy or autologous transplantation responded well to treatment with engineered T cells. Eighty percent of the patients that received T cells that were genetically engineered to target a specific antigen (NY-ESO-1) had complete, near, or partial response rates.

In the coming and subsequent New Years, more clinical trial data will become available to determine the success of engineered T cell therapy. Also, efforts to determine its application to solid tumors may be a next step. The goal is to make this therapy available as a viable treatment option for more patients with B cell cancers. This adds to the arsenal of immunotherapies available for helping to achieve and maintain health and quality of life. So we at HemaCare ask you to eat your spinach, enjoy your games, and get ready for an amazing New Year!


Singh N. Recent advances in engineered T cell therapies targeting B cell
malignancies. Discov Med. 2016 Oct;22(121):215-220. PubMed PMID: 27875673.

Topics: B Cells, new immunotherapy advances, T Cells, Uncategorized

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