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Cancer CAR T Cell Therapy Adapted to Help Fight Threatening Fungal Infections

Sep 14, 2021 10:00:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Cancer, CAR-T, T Cells, Immunotherapy (Immunology)


Cryptococcus fungi infections can be fatal as the immune system struggles to fight off the invaders, but through immunotherapy called CAR T cell therapy, researchers are seeing positive results.

Cryptococcosis, a systemic fungal infection, is caused by the polysaccharide encapsulated yeasts Cryptococcus gatti and Cryptococcus neoformans. The disease can cause pneumonia and meningitis, as well as pathology in other tissues.

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"Invisible" Stem Cells May Help Enhance Immunotherapies to Destroy Tumors

Jul 20, 2021 10:15:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Cancer, Stem Cells


Scientists at UC San Francisco discovered a new method for controlling the natural killer cells in the immune system through tissue implants and cell therapies that can enhance immunotherapies’ ability to detect/destroy cancerous tumors.

A major challenge with regenerative medicine is the immune system’s ability to reject implanted tissues recognized as non-self. Immunological rejection is a significant obstacle that stunts success in stem cell transplantation. Overcoming immune rejection of transplanted stem cells can support the development of off-the-shelf immunotherapies that can be used in any patient.

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Scientists Capture NK Cells to Harvest Exosomes in the Fight Against Cancer

Jul 13, 2021 10:15:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Cancer, NK Cells


Researchers from the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center and their College of Engineering teamed up to develop a microfluidic chip that is capable of seizing natural killer (NK) immune cells and then harvesting the NK cells’ cancer-killing abilities.

Natural killer cells are part of the innate immune system and have a robust anti-tumor function. NK cells demonstrate tumor cytotoxicity without the need for activation, as is the case for T cells.

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STAT5 Proteins May Play a Critical Role in Effective Anti-Tumor Immune Response

Jun 29, 2021 10:10:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Cancer, CAR-T


A study has shown that cancer patients’ white blood cells were genetically engineered to enable T-cells to identify and destroy the cancer cells.

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells are immune cells that have been genetically engineered to generate a T-cell receptor capable of targeting specific cancer cells. A patient’s own T cells are collected, modified, then infused back into the patient. Although very promising results and successes have been noted for the application of CAR-T cell therapy for blood cancers, it is not without significant challenges to overcome.

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Higher Post-Immunotherapy Survival Rate in Cases of Recurrent Glioblastoma Linked to Low TMB

Jun 22, 2021 10:30:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Cancer, Immunotherapy (Immunology)


A report out of Nature Communications suggests a correlation between the use of low TMB and an increased survival rate among glioblastoma patients may be due to changes in the immunological status of tumor post therapy.

Tumor mutation burden (TMB) is the frequency of certain protein (tumor antigen)-altering mutations within tumor genes. The production of more tumor antigens increases the chances that one or more of those can be recognized and reacted upon by the immune system. Highly mutated tumors produce many antigens that can stimulate T cells to respond to the antigens.

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