Blog | HemaCare

RNA Delivery to Dendritic Cells Launches Anti-Viral Defense for Cancer Immunotherapy

Jul 6, 2016 1:00:48 PM / by Karina Palomares posted in antigens, Cancer Immunology, cancer immunotherapy, CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells

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A new cancer immunotherapy approach uses nanoparticles carrying tumor RNA to target dendritic cells, leading to a strong anti-tumor response with antiviral-like features.

Researchers have been trying to develop vaccines to fight cancer for decades now, and it is now known to be more difficult than first thought. Cancer progression is not typically characterized by strong inflammatory signals that are necessary to initiate an immune response. Thus, most cancer vaccine strategies are aimed at directly activating a patient’s immune system. Since dendritic cells are extremely well suited at processing and presenting antigens for T cell activation, immunologists are currently working on developing vaccines that target these specialized antigen-presenting cells. Nanoparticles containing a tumor antigen and a dendritic-cell-targeting antibody have proven to be an effective strategy thus far.

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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, CD8+ T cells, HLA alleles, 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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