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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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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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Combining Microbial Therapy with Immunotherapy May Help the Immune System Attack Cancer Cells

Nov 10, 2020 9:08:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Cancer, T Cells, Immunotherapy (Immunology)

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Researchers discovered how the gut microbiome helps our immune system fight tumors that are cancerous.

The gut microbiome has beneficial effects on health, and alterations in the microbiota can increase the risk of a number of illnesses. Past studies suggest that the gut microbiota can affect anti-tumor immunity, and recently, that it can be used to simulate the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy. Immune checkpoints are proteins that prevent immune cells from targeting and killing the body’s own cells. However, tumor cells can use these checkpoint proteins (CTLA-4, PD-1, or PD-L1) to evade the immune system’s attack.

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Breast Cancer Cells Alter Function of NK Cells to Prevent Metastases

Oct 6, 2020 10:07:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Cancer, NK Cells

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Johns Hopkins University’s scientists have discovered that breast cancer cells can change the function in natural killer cells so they prevent metastases.

Natural killer (NK) cells play a significant role in the body’s defense against tumors and viral infections. The antitumor capacity involves an antimetastatic component, but it is now known that tumor cells can evade the antimetastatic effect of NK cells. Invasive breast cancer cells are vulnerable to healthy NK cells (unchanged NK cells not exposed to a tumor environment). The researchers found that NK cells exposed to cancer cells lose their cytotoxic and antimetastatic properties, allowing metastatic growth to proceed. The goal of a recent study was to determine how metastatic breast cancer cells escape NK-cell antimetastatic activity.

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