Blog | HemaCare

Editing NK Cells Produces More Potent Cancer Killers

Sep 15, 2020 10:07:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Cancer, NK Cells


Researchers at the University of California San Diego used natural killer cells in a study as immunotherapeutic agents. They found that the natural killer cells are effective in ridding tumor cells from the body. 

Immunotherapy for cancer treatment is rapidly emerging, and many studies are aimed at increasing the safety and efficacy of anti-tumor immunotherapy. Although T cells have been extensively studied, more research is being conducted on the use of natural killer (NK) cells as immunotherapeutic agents. NK cells are lymphocytes of the immune system capable of attacking and killing virus-infected and tumor cells. NK cells can lyse tumor cells without prior activation, but the potency of this effect limits its clinical use.

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HemaCare PBMCs Aid Development of Novel Cancer Immunotherapy

Aug 4, 2020 10:01:00 AM / by Nancy Andon, MSc posted in Cancer, PBMCs, Immunotherapy (Immunology)


A paper published in the journal Blood cites the use of HemaCare-sourced peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) to test a murine model of a new antibody-based cancer immunotherapy.

Multiple myeloma (MM) is a life-threatening disease that accounts for 10-15% of all blood-based cancers. The disease occurs when a specific group of white blood cells, known as plasma cells, become malignant. T cell therapy has shown some promise in treating the disease on a temporary basis, but with very few cancer-specific targets identified, MM remains incurable.

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Customized Immunotherapy Shows Promise for Lung Cancer

Jul 28, 2020 10:04:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Cancer, T Cells, Immunotherapy (Immunology)


A recent Phase I trial studying the effect of TIL therapy on lung cancer shows promising results for long-term patient remission.

Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) are T-cells that infiltrate solid tumors to attack tumor antigens. Still, the tumor microenvironment inhibits T-cell growth leading to low numbers of the cells and insufficient immune response. Checkpoint proteins on tumor surfaces, such as PD-1, can also further inhibit T-cell response in tumors. However, in the case of melanoma, scientists have been able to achieve a complete remission with TILs that can last over a decade.

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Inhibiting MDR1 Could Cripple Natural Immune Response to Cancers

Jul 21, 2020 10:00:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Cancer, T Cells, NK Cells


Studies find original efforts to inhibit MDR1 protein function may not be the best course of treatment for cancer patients.

The multidrug-resistant gene (MDR1) codes for p-glycoprotein, was first found in cancer cells and later in normal cells throughout the body. A basic function of MDR1 protein is to pump xenobiotic substances out of the cells as a protective mechanism. This function of MDR1 protein is also found in the blood-brain barrier, protecting the brain from chemicals in the bloodstream. Importantly, many cancer cell types with high levels of MDR1 expression were observed to exhibit resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs

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HemaCare Donor Recruitment Helps Solve Lung Cancer Puzzle

Jun 30, 2020 10:04:00 AM / by Nancy Andon, MSc posted in Cancer


A recent independent study cited using whole blood collected from HemCare donors to carry out research into how lung cancer suppresses the immune system. [1]

Scientists at a Boston-based pharmaceutical company have been trying to puzzle out exactly how lung cancer cells are able to suppress the immune system, and prevent it from launching an effective response. While previous research has exposed cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) as the primary culprits in this process, there is still little real knowledge of how these cells are able to interfere with immune cell function.

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