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.
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.
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. 
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.
“Kiss-and-run” approach helps researchers observe interaction between dendritic cells and T cells.
The normal biological processes needed for living beings to develop, grow, and function involve interactions between a diversity of cell types. Targeting these cellular interactions can enhance current cell-based immunotherapy and regenerative medicine, as well as provide the basis for new ones. Studying the mechanisms of these interactions is necessary in order to understand the means by which they affect cell signaling, immunity, growth and development, and more.
Advances in immunotherapy research to combat cancer has provided unprecedented treatment success due to the discoveries of two different Nobel Laureates, Dr. James P. Allison (U.S.) and Dr. Tasuku Honjo (Japan). Working independently, they each discovered immune system proteins that are important in self-tolerance and that can be harnessed to kill cancer cells. Checkpoint molecules prevent the immune system from killing the body’s own healthy cells. When checkpoint molecules are encountered by T cells, the cells bearing these molecules are spared attack. However, some cancer cells wear checkpoint molecules, acting as imposters of normal cells to evade attack by T cells.