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Tumor-Adjacent Dendritic Cells Crucial for Cancer Growth in T-Cell Leukemia

Jul 13, 2016 1:00:11 PM / by Steffen Porwollik posted in ALL, leukemia, research, stromal cells, T cells, T lymphocytes, tumor microenvironment, white blood cells

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Scientists examine the effect of the tumor microenvironment on cancer fate in acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), a disease prevalent in young children. They find that the tumor-adjacent dendritic cells provide essential cues for cancer growth.

For the past fifty years, the incidence of acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), a cancer of immature white blood cells, has been rising steadily. Currently, about 6,500 new cases occur annually in the US. The onset of the wretched disease is most common in early childhood, between ages 2 and 5, but can also happen later in life. Luckily, modern chemotherapy and stem cell approaches have resulted in a substantial increase in the 5-year survival rate for children affected by the disease, to over 75%. However, outlook remains poor for those that do not respond well to these therapies. As is the case for the disease’s chronic counterpart, CLL, more treatment options are sorely needed (as we recently reported).

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Curing Legionnaires’ Disease via Suicide of Infected Macrophages

Apr 6, 2016 1:00:50 PM / by Steffen Porwollik posted in apoptosis, bacterial infection, Innovation, legionella, research, white blood cells

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Australian scientists discover a completely new way to battle potentially deadly bacterial infections - by prompting infected macrophages to kill themselves.
 

The 1976 convention of the American Legion in Philadelphia turned out to be an ill-fated event: Around 200 attendees contracted pneumonia, and about 30 eventually succumbed to the disease, which was caused by a hitherto unknown but quickly famed bacterium: Legionella pneumophila. This microbe evades the immune response by a particularly sneaky mechanism. It lets itself be eaten by the host’s macrophages, and instead of perishing, like regular pathogens, it makes itself a cozy home within those immune cells. It does this by preventing the fusion of the phagosome, where the bacteria reside, with the lysosome, which carries the killer enzymes that usually tackle the invading microbes, inside the macrophages. Instead, the bacteria continue to replicate happily inside the immune cells until these burst, releasing thousands of new bacteria that can hunt for new macrophages, thereby spreading all over the body. The disease is often deadly, especially when antibiotic treatment is delayed.

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Epigenetic Therapy May be a Boon for Aggressive Leukemia

Aug 24, 2015 1:00:27 PM / by Shweta posted in cancer, Cancer Immunology, cancer immunotherapy, clinical trials, Innovation, leukemia, research, T lymphocytes, white blood cells

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New discovery can make an existing leukemia treatment more effective

Prolymphocytic leukemia (PLL) is a rare and aggressive form of malignancy characterized by marked lymphocytosis and splenomegaly. PLL represents only 2% of all chronic lymphoid leukemias in adults over the age of 30. Most patients with PLL shows involvement of the peripheral blood, bone marrow, lymph nodes, liver, and spleen. In addition, skin infiltration and serious effusions may also occur at rates of approximately 25 and 15 percent, respectively.

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Stem Cell Test to Determine Cytokine Release Syndrome Ahead of Time

Jun 22, 2015 1:00:31 PM / by Shweta posted in drug screening, Innovation, PBMC, research, stem cells, T lymphocytes, white blood cells, whole blood

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Another potential application of human stem cells is to recognize side effects of drugs

Biological therapy is a form of treatment that uses biological materials such as antibodies and stem cells. Several biological therapies, including monoclonal antibodies, are now well established as part of the treatment for many diseases such as cancer, transplant rejection, autoimmune disorders, and infections. Personalized medicine is now a key emerging technology in drug development. However, they can cause adverse side effects in humans. Therefore, biologic therapies require the use of human tissue-based bioassays to measures the efficacy and safety of the drug.

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Novel Therapeutic Target to Treat Drug Resistant Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

Jan 12, 2015 1:00:53 PM / by Shweta posted in cancer, Drug Resistance, Innovation, leukemia, Peripheral blood cells, research, Tyrosine Kinase, white blood cells

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Scientists have identified an alternative to reduce the risk of drug resistance in chronic myeloid leukemia patients

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) is characterized by an uncontrolled proliferation of white blood cells and their precursors. Chronic Myeloid Leukemia develops because of a balanced genetic translocation, which involves a fusion of the Abelson oncogene (ABL) from chromosome 9q34 with the breakpoint cluster region (BCR) gene on chromosome 22q11.2. This reshuffling is called the Philadelphia chromosome. The BCR-ABL fusion oncogene, which is a consequence of this molecular translocation, translates a protein known as Bcr-Abl oncoprotein. This protein, also known as a tyrosine kinase, leads to an uncontrolled proliferation of white blood cells and their precursors.

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