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Tests in New Immunotherapy Targets Macrophages Instead of Cancer Cells

Dec 23, 2019 10:07:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Cancer, Macrophages, Immunotherapy (Immunology)

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A collaborative team of scientists from Denmark, France, the UK, and the US recognized the potential to target CD163 macrophages for a novel approach to cancer immunotherapy.

Macrophages are one of many types of immune system cells of the body, and they function to phagocytize and digest invading substances including bacteria and other microorganisms; they also digest cellular debris and cancer cells. However, there are a subset of macrophages (CD163 macrophages) that actually supports tumor survival and impedes T-cell attack of tumors. Expression of CD163 by these macrophages is associated with a poorer prognosis for a number of human cancers, such as malignant melanoma.

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Immunotherapy for Breast Cancer on the Horizon

Sep 17, 2019 10:02:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Cancer, Tumors, Immunotherapy (Immunology)

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A new treatment has been approved by the FDA to treat breast cancer that combines chemotherapy with immunotherapy.

The war against cancer is ongoing and consists of both winning and losing battles. There are several cancers that have been successfully treated with immunotherapy. However, one type of cancer has been a challenge for the application of immunotherapy is breast cancer. There are various subtypes of breast cancer, and each requires a different treatment approach due to the distinct biology associated with these cancer types and the specific mechanisms involved in breast tumor development.

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Medicare’s Decision to Cover Cell Therapy Treatments

Aug 13, 2019 10:07:00 AM / by Nancy Andon, MSc posted in Cancer, CAR-T, Cell Therapy

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A major breakthrough in Immunotherapy drug coverage was announced last week. Medicare will now cover high-priced blood cancer cell therapies nationwide. The news, announced by officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), comes two years after the FDA approved the first CAR-T therapy in 2017, Novartis’ Kymriah®, a treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. This long sought-after coverage decision will now ensure patients have consistent and predictable access to potentially life-saving therapies.[1]   

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NK Cell Clinical Trial Begins for Incurable Cancer

Jul 16, 2019 10:12:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Cancer, NK Cells, Immunotherapy (Immunology)

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New tests begin in the United States using stem cell-derived natural killer cells to help patients suffering from incurable cancer.

Curing the incurable is an ongoing and top endeavor in medical research. This is particularly true for the various forms of cancer that are difficult to treat. The investigation and use of immunotherapy as an option for the treatment of different forms of cancer continues to increase. The main immunotherapeutic approach to cancer involves harvesting stem cells from the patient or a donor. Given the logistics, cost, and time this approach takes, the development of a strategy or cell products that can be used on demand is much desired.

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Better Immunotherapy Research Needed for Elderly Lung Cancer Patients

Jun 25, 2019 10:03:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Cancer, Immunotherapy (Immunology)

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Varied responses to immunotherapy among elderly lung cancer patients reveal the need for more age-inclusive research and clinical trials.

The proportion of the U.S. population that is over 65 years of age has risen. Almost 50 million people are in this age range, a result of medical advancements which improve survival. However, cancer incidence has increased in this same age-group. More specifically, the 75 to 84-year-old age group has the highest percentage of cancer deaths. This increased incidence of cancer in the elderly may be associated with changes that occur in the immune system with advancing age.

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