Blog | HemaCare

Metabolism, Immune Systems, and Pregnancy: What T Cells Are Revealing

Feb 11, 2020 10:09:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in T Cells, NK Cells, Immunotherapy (Immunology)

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In addition to fetal tissue tolerance, T cells and NK cells also play a role in fetal-maternal metabolic homeostasis.

Immune system adaptations in the maternal-fetal environment are essential for a successful pregnancy. When this adaptation is hindered or inadequate, infertility, miscarriage, pregnancy complications, and adverse fetal outcomes can occur. Specific immune cells have been studied to better understand their role in pregnancy and to know what this information can provide overall regarding the development of new immunotherapeutic approaches for disease states.

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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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University of Minnesota Opened New NK-Cell Immunotherapy Clinical Trial

Dec 3, 2019 10:06:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in NK Cells, Immunotherapy (Immunology)

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The new FT516 immunotherapy is the first iPSC-derived therapy approved for clinical testing in the world and may provide a treatment for many different types of cancers.

A collaboration between the University of Minnesota and Fate Therapeutics will begin clinical trials for a novel “off-the-shelf” targeted natural killer (NK) cell cancer immunotherapy derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). iPSCs are adult cells that have been genetically reprogrammed so that they regain the ability to differentiate into any cell type, making them pluripotent (similar to embryonic stem cells). The new NK cell therapy, FT516, is developed from genetically engineered human iPSCs with enhanced anti-tumor activity.

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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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Can TRuCs Beat CARs?

Jul 30, 2019 10:08:00 AM / by Nancy Andon, MSc posted in CAR-T, T Cells, Immunotherapy (Immunology)

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Exciting new research published in Nature Communications cites using HemaCare leukapheresis material to design primary human T cells that may be more effective at fighting cancer than CAR-T cells. [1]

The successful treatment of B cell leukemias with genetically modified T cells heralded a new frontier in cell-based medicines. CAR-T cells, or chimeric antigen receptor T cells, have become the face of cell and gene therapy, with Novartis’ first-in-class Kymriah® prompting a robust pipeline of competitive CAR-T treatments. Now a research group in Cambridge, Massachusetts is taking T cell-based immunotherapy one step further. By changing the way T cells target cancer cells, they claim to have come up with a more effective cancer immunotherapy mechanism.

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