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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

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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

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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

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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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Breast Cancer Cells Alter Function of NK Cells to Prevent Metastases

Oct 6, 2020 10:07:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Cancer, NK Cells

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Johns Hopkins University’s scientists have discovered that breast cancer cells can change the function in natural killer cells so they prevent metastases.

Natural killer (NK) cells play a significant role in the body’s defense against tumors and viral infections. The antitumor capacity involves an antimetastatic component, but it is now known that tumor cells can evade the antimetastatic effect of NK cells. Invasive breast cancer cells are vulnerable to healthy NK cells (unchanged NK cells not exposed to a tumor environment). The researchers found that NK cells exposed to cancer cells lose their cytotoxic and antimetastatic properties, allowing metastatic growth to proceed. The goal of a recent study was to determine how metastatic breast cancer cells escape NK-cell antimetastatic activity.

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Editing NK Cells Produces More Potent Cancer Killers

Sep 15, 2020 10:07:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Cancer, NK Cells

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Researchers at the University of California San Diego used natural killer cells in a study as immunotherapeutic agents. They found that the natural killer cells are effective in ridding tumor cells from the body. 

Immunotherapy for cancer treatment is rapidly emerging, and many studies are aimed at increasing the safety and efficacy of anti-tumor immunotherapy. Although T cells have been extensively studied, more research is being conducted on the use of natural killer (NK) cells as immunotherapeutic agents. NK cells are lymphocytes of the immune system capable of attacking and killing virus-infected and tumor cells. NK cells can lyse tumor cells without prior activation, but the potency of this effect limits its clinical use.

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