Blog | HemaCare

Natural Killer Cells May Help Control COVID-19

Dec 14, 2021 10:30:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in NK Cells


Studies that examined NK-cell levels in people with COVID-19 showed that they had decreased levels of NK cells when compared to people who did not have the disease.

Natural killer (NK) cells are capable of killing infected cells without prior activation. Although NK cells do not require antigen stimulation to function, they serve as a robust defense against viral infection. One mechanism used by NK cells to fight viral infection includes the release of granzymes that can trigger pathways leading to the death of infected cells.

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Scientists Capture NK Cells to Harvest Exosomes in the Fight Against Cancer

Jul 13, 2021 10:15:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Cancer, NK Cells


Researchers from the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center and their College of Engineering teamed up to develop a microfluidic chip that is capable of seizing natural killer (NK) immune cells and then harvesting the NK cells’ cancer-killing abilities.

Natural killer cells are part of the innate immune system and have a robust anti-tumor function. NK cells demonstrate tumor cytotoxicity without the need for activation, as is the case for T cells.

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Happy New Year! The Top Ten HemaCare Blogs of 2020

Dec 16, 2020 10:04:00 AM / by Nancy Andon, MSc posted in T Cells, NK Cells, Vaccine Research


Even as the New Year approaches, we are sure 2020 will never be forgotten!

The emergence of the COVID pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to all of us. At HemaCare we have been proud to see our cryopreserved leukopak products deliver timely aid to COVID-19 researchers by providing high-quality starting materials to a supply chain suddenly beset with disruptions. It comes as no surprise that several of the blogs in our “Top Ten” list are focused on COVID research carried out as scientists raced toward a vaccine.

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Clinical Trials Begin for CAR-T Immunotherapy for Metastatic Prostate Cancer

Nov 24, 2020 10:03:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Cancer, T Cells, NK Cells


Clinical trials have begun with its first round of Metastatic Prostate Cancer patients for immune cell therapy. 

Chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy uses the body’s own immune cells to target tumor cells. T cells are taken from a patient’s body then genetically modified to target specific protein markers on tumor cells. As research and development of the next generation of cell therapies continue, new efforts are underway to discover new targets for CAR-T cell development.

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The University of Minnesota Investigates Using NK Cells to Fight Covid-19

Oct 27, 2020 10:52:23 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in NK Cells, Vaccine Research, Infectious Disease


Researchers at the University of Minnesota expand to clinical trials with natural killer cells against the novel coronavirus.

Natural killer (NK) cells are part of the innate immune system and function to recognize and disable virus-infected and tumor cells. NK cell-based immunotherapy is increasingly studied as a viable approach to treat solid tumors and hematological cancers. A collaboration between the University of Minnesota and Fate Therapeutics began clinical trials for a novel “off-the-shelf” targeted NK-cell based cancer immunotherapy (FT516) that uses induced pluripotent stem cells, adult stem cells reprogrammed to have the capacity to differentiate into any cell type.

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