In chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell immunotherapy, T cells are obtained from a patient and genetically modified to express specific receptors (CARs) against tumor antigens. The best studied and successful CAR-T cells target the CD19 antigen on neoplastic B cells. However, this targeted approach gives quite variable results. The secretion by CD19 CAR-T cells of various cell signaling molecules varies between patients and individual CAR-T cells. The question then is how to measure the ability of CD19 CAR-T cells to release signals, after a specific antigenic challenge and correlate that to patient responses.
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.
Bacteriophages (or phages) are viruses that infect, replicate in, and can kill bacteria. They can have utility as alternatives to antibacterial drugs. Phages have bacterial specificity, and have not been found to infect eukaryotic cells. Given these attributes, phages may be suitable candidates for the treatment of bacterial infections without affecting mammalian cells or beneficial microflora. Furthermore, there is data that show that oral ingestion of phages by animals leads to entry of the phages into the bloodstream and reach internal tissues.
Infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV) is quite common in humans; however, a respiratory infection with this virus (HPV 6 and 11) is the cause of a rare, chronic respiratory disease, recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP). It is characterized by the presence of wart-like lesions in the airway that affect respiratory function and voice quality. The condition is thought to result from a dysfunction of the immune response to HPV such that the virus is not cleared from the body.
Visceral or central obesity is characterized by an excess of abdominal fat, and is correlated with risk of cardiovascular disease and other health conditions such as type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia. Central obesity is measured by the waist circumference and is considered to be a stronger predictor of death risk than body mass index. Increases in blood cytokine and chemokine levels are associated with central obesity and is an indication that chronic inflammation is associated with the condition.