Everything You Need to Know About Apheresis

Many people have donated blood in their lifetime. This blood is not only used for transfusions, but to provide blood components to treat a number of diseases and to conduct research geared to develop new diagnostic and treatment strategies. To obtain specific blood components, the technique of apheresis is used. This procedure is the means to separate blood into its various components so that the desired one is removed. Then, the rest of the components are placed back into the donor’s circulation.


Getting personal with your cancer therapy

For many years, cancer therapy has been tackled with a more or less universal approach. The drawback of this approach to therapy is the wide range of different responses to a given therapy. The concept of personalized medicine, tailoring treatment to a patient’s specific characteristics, has been envisioned and desired for many years. It is now being studied and implemented to increase successful responses to therapy, including cancer therapy.


A New Therapy Against Tuberculosis: NOD-2 Derived Dendritic Cells

Scientists find that NOD-2 derived dendritic cells have superior bactericidal activity.

Intracellular bacterial infections, such as tuberculosis, Listeria or E. coli, are serious health threats. All can be deadly if our immune system fails to contain and get rid of the infection promptly. Scientists have just found a way to make dendritic cells better at restricting the growth of intracellular bacteria, particularly tuberculosis.


Dendritic Cell Immunotherapy Gets a Boost

A new strategy significantly increases the efficacy of dendritic cell immunotherapy against high grade glioma, a severe type of brain cancer. The key: pre-exposing the therapy to glioma cells undergoing immunogenic cell death.

High grade glioma (HGG) is a malignant brain cancer that is characterized by tumorous growth of glial cells, non-neural cells surrounding the neurons of the central and peripheral nervous system. HGG is accompanied by a heartbreakingly poor prognosis and the current lack of a cure. Hundreds of children are diagnosed every year with HGG in Europe and North America.


Differences Between Primary Cells and Cell Lines

The following infographic discusses the differences between primary cells and cell lines.

Historically, cell lines have been useful research tools. However, they are subject to a number of inherent risks due to their altered or engineered nature, creating an "artificial cell-based system".


Cord Blood Regulatory T cells Provide New Hope for Transplant Patients

A clinical trial shows that cord blood regulatory T cells help reduce GVHD in high-risk blood malignancies.

One of the worst adverse effects of bone marrow or stem cell transplant is graft versus host disease. Side effects can range from rashes to a complete destruction of vital organs such as kidneys or liver. Thanks to regulatory T cells from cord blood, transplant patients may have a better therapy option.


Inducing Fas Ligand in Dendritic Cells Gives Them an Edge Against Inflammatory Bowl Disease

Researchers find that dendritic cells transduced with Fas Ligand are effective in treating colon inflammation.

Dendritic cells are constantly sampling the lumen of the intestines for harmful bacterial. Once they find a threat, they migrate to the neighboring lymph nodes to activate T cells. Since our intestines contain hundreds of millions of bacterial cells, dendritic cells have developed to ignore the commensal bacteria that would not harm us. This “ignorance” or tolerance has proved essential for intestinal health. Breakdown of this tolerance results in inflammatory bowel diseases or IBD. We have previously written about how defective dendritic cells are to blame for the initiation of IBD.


The Good Side of Cholesterol: It Potentiates CD8 T cells Anti-tumor Activity

Researchers find that modulating cholesterol metabolism makes CD8 T cells better at fighting cancer.

We all know that too much cholesterol is bad for our health. However, our CD8 T cells beg to differ. If they accumulate more cholesterol inside their plasma membrane, they become better at fighting cancer. This is what the latest research published in the journal Nature shows.


A New Hope Against Type I Diabetes: The T cells that Attack the Beta Cells in the Pancreas Have Been Found

A long-awaited discovery leads researchers to find the pathogenic T cells that recognize and destroy pancreatic beta cells.

When it comes to autoimmune diseases, the patient’s main problem lies within. In such diseases, the immune system’s T cells go rogue and start attacking different organs, resulting in disease. Scientists are constantly trying to discover the identity of the autoimmune T cells as this may be the first step in a preventative therapy.


How Does Our Body Make More Platelets? It Turns Out They Determine Their Own Fate.

Researchers find that activated platelets secrete CCL5, which stimulates megakaryocytes to produce more platelets.

Blood platelets play an important role in many physiological conditions that occur in the body. Their main role is to limit bleeding and blood loss by forming clots at sites where the endothelial layer is disrupted. They are formed from fragments of the cytoplasm of megakaryocytic, large bone marrow progenitor cells that release proplatelets into the bloodstream. When conditions such as infections, inflammation or malignancy occur, there is a transient occurrence of a high platelet count. Their blood levels are important. A low platelet level lead to bleeding and too many can result in blood clots, so understanding how their numbers are regulated is important. However, it is still not clear how this occurs – well, until recently.