In Part I of this series we introduced T cell based immunotherapy and in Part II we discussed how chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) expressing T cells can be even more potent. In Part III below, we expand this concept further by covering hematopoetic stem cells and additional ways they can be engineered for promising immunotherapy of cancer and leukemia.
Recent data suggest that the average person has about a 40% chance of developing cancer at some point in his or her lifetime.  If those statistics are not frightening enough, let’s talk treatment: chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, chemical-based drug therapy, or a combination of the above. And don’t forget the various side effects of cancer therapy, many of which are a result of the destruction of crucial adult stem cells in the body. Because of this, stem cell transplants have been performed with fresh stem cells originating from bone marrow, peripheral blood, or cord blood to help replenish a patient’s hematopoietic system.
Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMCs) can be used in drug screening. In Part I from this series, we discussed how they can be used to assay drug activity including effects on proliferation, viability, apoptosis, inflammation, and migration in healthy and disease cell models. There are related assays available to measure the effects of drug treatment and, especially for researchers that prefer to use human samples, peripheral blood mononuclear cells are often the cells of choice (PBMCs) are often the cells of choice. The advantages of using human cells initially are immense.
Use of human samples including peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in drug discovery is critical for increasing the chances of success for a small molecule screen hit. This is the first in a four part series on peripheral blood mononuclear cells and their use in drug discovery.