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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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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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Improving Immune Checkpoint Therapy for Melanoma

Apr 23, 2019 10:07:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Cytotoxic T Cells, T Cells, Immunotherapy (Immunology)

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Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer and more likely to grow and metastasize. It has a high response rate to checkpoint inhibitor therapy compared to other cancers; however, about 60% of patients treated do not respond well or relapse. Immune checkpoints are proteins expressed on T cells and function to ensure self-tolerance, but they are also used by tumor cells to limit anti-tumor immune function.

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