Blog | HemaCare

How Dendritic Cells May Shed Light on Organ Rejection

Oct 29, 2018 10:02:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Dendritic cells, immune system


Skin transplants often face rejection by the immune system, but research shows skin grafts may be pre-treated with dendritic cells before the transplant to prevent organ rejection.

In 2016, more than 33,000 organ transplants occurred in the U.S. After a person receives a transplant, the immune system may attack the organ as foreign. This can occur rapidly, within the first year, in about 15% of people who receive kidney transplants, for example. However, skin transplants are rejected at a much higher rate for reasons that are not fully understood. Researchers of Brigham and Women's Hospital embarked on research studies to determine the cause of skin transplant rejection by the immune system and how this can be prevented.

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Brain Cancer Vaccine Could Improve Prognosis

Jul 30, 2018 10:18:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Dendritic cells, vaccines


Immunotherapy for glioblastoma has been considered an option for patients and extend life of patients.

Glioblastoma multiforme is an aggressive cancer of the brain or spinal cord that originates from astrocytes. Although this type of cancer is not age specific, it is diagnosed more often in older patients. Glioblastoma is very difficult to treat, and current options include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, use of electrical fields (tumor treating fields), and targeted therapies to prevent tumor blood vessel formation. On average, people live for about 15 months after diagnosis despite receiving the standard treatments for glioblastoma.

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Personalized Vaccine Fights Ovarian Cancer

Jul 9, 2018 9:57:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Dendritic cells, dendritic cell vaccine, T cells, immunotherapy


Ovarian cancer, while common, is challenging to treat, but a new study is looking into an immunotherapeutic approach using a vaccine from dendritic cells.

Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death overall in women, but is the leading cause of death due to cancer of the female reproductive system. Ovarian cancer continues to be a challenge to treat, remission is difficult to achieve, and recurrence is common. The treatment approaches used or being studied involve chemotherapy, targeted therapy (to limit damage to normal cells), and immunotherapy. The study of immunotherapeutic approaches is ongoing in order to limit adverse effects in patients and to spare normal tissue from the toxicity seen with chemotherapy. To this end, researchers recently studied an immunotherapeutic approach using a vaccine derived from dendritic cells.

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New Improvements for Prostate Cancer Immunotherapy

Jun 25, 2018 10:08:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in new immunotherapy advances, immunotherapy, cancer treatment, Dendritic cells, dendritic cell vaccine


Immunotherapy is a highly studied treatment for cancers, and is now being considered for the treatment of prostate cancer, the most common cancer diagnosis for U.S. men.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis for men in the U.S. and a leading cause of cancer-related death. A heavily studied cancer treatment approach is immunotherapy and is increasingly being investigated for the treatment of prostate cancer. Although results of immunotherapy trials for prostate cancer present many challenges (relapse and development of resistance in some patients), they still show potential therapeutic promise.

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Prevent Recurring Tumors with Immunotherapy

May 14, 2018 10:13:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in new immunotherapy advances, immunotherapy, cancer immunotherapy, Tumors, tumor cells, Dendritic cells, Dendritic Cell Immunotherapy


Immunotherapy is becoming a promising treatment approach for cancer patients with recurring tumors, and more studies will help to further develop the treatment options.

Surgical resection is still the first-line treatment for solid tumors despite the rate of tumor recurrence with this approach. Surgery to remove tumors provokes wound healing processes that promote local immunosuppressive environments and metastasis. Surgical resection of tumors can also remove beneficial immune cells and factors that could promote targeting and killing of tumor cells. Radio- or chemotherapy as an adjunct to surgery has some limited effects on distant metastasis, but these treatments are associated with significant systemic adverse effects. 

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