Blog | HemaCare

The Role of Lymph Node Cells in Immune Tolerance

Sep 3, 2019 10:10:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Autoimmune Disorders, T Cells


A recent study found the lymph node cells, much like the thymus, play a part in immune self-tolerance.

Nearly 5% of the U.S. population is affected with a devastating autoimmune disease, and this percentage is ever growing. Current treatments address organ inflammation or approach the autoimmunity with immunosuppression, which has serious and widespread side effects. In order to develop more specific and effective therapies, there must be a fuller understanding of the mechanisms by which self-tolerance develops. It is known that autoimmune diseases occur due to the immune system’s loss of tolerance to self-antigens. How and why this loss of tolerance occurs is associated with many factors, including genetic (and epigenetic), cellular, environmental, and more.

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Can TRuCs Beat CARs?

Jul 30, 2019 10:08:00 AM / by Nancy Andon, MSc posted in CAR-T, Immunotherapy, T Cells


Exciting new research published in Nature Communications cites using HemaCare leukapheresis material to design primary human T cells that may be more effective at fighting cancer than CAR-T cells. [1]

The successful treatment of B cell leukemias with genetically modified T cells heralded a new frontier in cell-based medicines. CAR-T cells, or chimeric antigen receptor T cells, have become the face of cell and gene therapy, with Novartis’ first-in-class Kymriah® prompting a robust pipeline of competitive CAR-T treatments. Now a research group in Cambridge, Massachusetts is taking T cell-based immunotherapy one step further. By changing the way T cells target cancer cells, they claim to have come up with a more effective cancer immunotherapy mechanism.

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Improving Immune Checkpoint Therapy for Melanoma

Apr 23, 2019 10:07:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Cytotoxic T Cells, Immunotherapy, T Cells


Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer and more likely to grow and metastasize. It has a high response rate to checkpoint inhibitor therapy compared to other cancers; however, about 60% of patients treated do not respond well or relapse. Immune checkpoints are proteins expressed on T cells and function to ensure self-tolerance, but they are also used by tumor cells to limit anti-tumor immune function.

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HemaCare Leukopaks Employed for Development of Bi-Specific Antibodies for Cancer Immunotherapy

Mar 26, 2019 10:09:00 AM / by Nancy Andon, MSc posted in Cancer Immunology, cancer immunotherapy, Cytotoxic T Cells, T Cells, monoclonal antibody


Scientists at antibody engineering company Xencor in Monrovia, CA have just published a research paper that cites using HemaCare sourced leukopaks in the development of their new antibody platform. 

Monoclonal antibody therapy has become central to the treatment of many different diseases, including autoimmune disorders, asthma and cancer. Yet in spite of this success, many disease targets have yet to be effectively addressed. Monoclonal antibodies have trouble binding to antigens that are weakly expressed, which results in a need for higher dosing concentrations. High treatment dosages, in turn, can lead to toxicity effects. Monoclonals are also limited in that they can only block one target at a time, leaving parallel disease pathways open that can lead to treatment resistance.

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HemaCare Starting Material Aids Discovery of New Brain Tumor Treatment Strategy

Feb 19, 2019 10:02:00 AM / by Nancy Andon, MSc posted in T Cells, Tumors


An independent publication cites using HemaCare primary T-cells to investigate a novel cancer therapy based on blocking immune suppression while simultaneously promoting T-cell activity. [1]

Newly approved T-cell therapies have been eliciting enthusiastic discussion across the medical field for their unparalleled success rate in treating aggressive blood cancers. This success has unfortunately not extended to the treatment of brain tumors, where upregulation of the “immune checkpoint” molecule PDL-1 interferes with normal immune response. Now a research group based at the University of Alabama’s Medical School may have found a way to outsmart brain cancer cells that evade the body’s immune system.

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