Blog | HemaCare

NK Cells May Form Adaptive Memories

Sep 10, 2019 10:10:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in NK Cells, Vaccine Research, Humanized Mice


A new study shows that NK cells may be able to form adaptive memory and demonstrate specific antigen memory.

Innate immunity has long been considered the nonspecific first line of defense against an invading microorganism, while adaptive (or acquired) immunity is an antigen-specific immune response characterized by a memory that allows protection against a repeat exposure. Examples of cells of the innate immune response include natural killer (NK) cells, macrophages, neutrophils, and mast cells. T and B lymphocytes are cells of the adaptive immune system.

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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)


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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HemaCare Immune Cells Ace Cytotoxicity Assay used to Screen Therapeutic Antibodies

Jan 22, 2019 10:15:00 AM / by Nancy Andon, MSc posted in Assay Development, NK Cells


In an independent study recently published by Pfizer, [1] natural killer (NK) immune cells sourced from HemaCare were evaluated to test how well suited they are for use in cytotoxic activity assays.

These last few years have seen the successful clinical development of several monoclonal antibody-based treatments for cancer and inflammatory disease. These antibodies are designed to act in a number of different ways, from tagging target cells so they can be recognized by the immune system, to blocking growth or metastasis, to attacking problematic cells themselves. Monoclonal antibodies (m’Abs) are seen as particularly beneficial because they can be used to complement more traditional therapies and because their use generally results in fewer side effects.

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Cells May Cooperate to Treat Cancers

Oct 22, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Cancer, T Cells, NK Cells, Immunotherapy (Immunology)


Recent research reveals T cells and Natural Killer (NK) cells may respond to cancer cells differently and could ultimately provide more cancer treatment options.

A leading immunotherapeutic approach to treating cancer involves the use of checkpoint inhibitors. Immune checkpoints are proteins expressed on T cells and are essential for the self-tolerance needed to prevent autoimmunity. When T-cell checkpoint molecules bind to its ligand on cells, the targeted cell is not harmed. These checkpoints are often exploited by tumor cells by possessing checkpoint molecules such as PD-L1 and impeding the immune system’s ability to initiate and carry out an immune attack on the tumor.

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Expansion of Antitumor Natural Killer Cells Using Anti-CD16 Antibody and Irradiated Autologous Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells

Nov 20, 2017 8:00:37 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in PBMCs, NK Cells


Natural killer (NK) cells are lymphocytes of the innate immune system and are important in controlling tumors and infections without depending on the recognition of specific antigens. The activation of NK cells occur via NK cell receptor interactions, including the CD 16 (Fc-gamma) receptors that bind antibodies (eg. IgG) attached to pathogens and infected cells. The CD16 receptor is involved in antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, a process associated with the effectiveness of antibody-based cancer immunotherapies.

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