Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of conditions characterized by severe chronic inflammation of the intestinal tract. The most common of these are Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Although the intestinal microbiota has protective and other beneficial functions, they are also thought to play a role in the development of IBD. One way this may occur is through the dysregulation of the management of the bacteria in the intestine.
Dendritic cells are mononuclear cells that are an invaluable part of the immune response. These are antigen presenting cells that process invading pathogens (disease-causing material) and present them to T cells for further response. Different dendritic cell subtypes have been and continue to be identified with varying functions. Nonetheless, the total number of dendritic cell subtypes and the interrelationships between them are unknown.
Natural killer (NK) cells are immune cells that can be used as a form of immunotherapy and are particularly effective in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). NK cells can be obtained from peripheral or cord blood, but with low yields. This limits their use for patients that need multiple treatments. They also have a short survival time and do not proliferate or remain viable after injection into patients. The availability of NK cells for therapy can be enhanced by stimulating their production from hematopoietic (CD 34+) stem cells.
Dendritic cells are powerful antigen-presenting cells that are crucial for immune responses including those against tumor cells. These cells process and present invading and disease-causing cells and molecules to T cells. When dendritic cells fuse with tumor antigens, T cells are activated to induce anti-tumor immunity.
Glioblastomas are highly malignant brain tumors that can be resistant to conventional treatment. Despite the various therapies available, treatment success is very low. One of the main reasons for poor survival rates is the difficulty in getting anti-cancer drugs through the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Therefore, a means to expose brain tumors to effective concentrations without adverse effects to the patient are needed.