CAR T cell therapy: Potential for considerable savings

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy is a new and in some cases highly effective form of immunotherapy to treat certain types of cancer of the blood and lymph system. This promising treatment comes at a cost, however: The manufacturers charge up to EUR 320,000 for the production of immune cells for a single patient. By determining the fixed […]

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How the coronavirus could be prevented from invading a host cell

How might the novel coronavirus be prevented from entering a host cell in an effort to thwart infection? A team of biomedical scientists has made a discovery that points to a solution. The scientists, led by Maurizio Pellecchia in the School of Medicine at the University of California, Riverside, report in the journal Molecules that two proteases—enzymes that break down […]

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Patients improve after heart cell therapy

Four of six critically ill COVID-19 (coronavirus) patients significantly improved after receiving an experimental therapeutic designed to reduce inflammation, a major cause of death from this disease, according to a case series published by Cedars-Sinai and Capricor Therapeutics. The four patients got well enough to be discharged from the hospital. The therapeutic, known as CAP-1002, contains cardiosphere-derived cells (CDCs) that […]

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BIN1 deficit impairs brain cell communication, memory consolidation

Bridging integrator 1, known as BIN1, is the second most common risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, according to genome-wide studies of genetic variants. Yet, scientists know little about what this protein does in the brain. Now a new preclinical study has discovered that a lack of BIN1 leads to a defect in the transmission of neurotransmitters that activate the […]

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New insight into immune cell behavior offers opportunities for cancer treatment

An international group of scientists has discovered that certain cells of our immune system—the so-called T cells—communicate with each other and work together as a team. To fight an infection they stimulate each other’s growth, but at the same time, they inhibit each other when there is a surplus of T cells. That insight offers new opportunities for the treatment […]

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Effort to control opioids in an ER leaves some sickle cell patients in pain

India Hardy has lived with pain since she was a toddler—ranging from dull persistent aches to acute flare-ups that interrupt the flow of her normal life. The pain is from sickle cell disease, a group of genetic conditions that affect about 100,000 people in the U.S., many of them of African or Hispanic descent. Sitting in the afternoon heat on […]

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First-ever US clinical trial of engineered iPSC-derived cell therapy for blood cancer

A new cancer clinical trial has opened at the M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Medical Center that leverages the groundbreaking research on stem cells and natural killer (NK) cells done at the Masonic Cancer Center and applies it to attack acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and B-cell lymphoma. The first-of-its-kind NK cell cancer immunotherapy, called FT516, is manufactured from a […]

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Cell family trees tracked to discover their role in tissue scarring and liver disease

Researchers have discovered that a key cell type involved in liver injury and cancer consists of two cellular families with different origins and functions. The research by academics from the Universities of Edinburgh and Bristol and funded by the Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council, is published today [Tuesday 15 October] in Nature Communications. The distinguishing feature of these families—whether […]

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Researchers create new viral vector for improved gene therapy in sickle cell disease

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have developed a new and improved viral vector—a virus-based vehicle that delivers therapeutic genes—for use in gene therapy for sickle cell disease. In advanced lab tests using animal models, the new vector was up to 10 times more efficient at incorporating corrective genes into bone marrow stem cells than the conventional vectors currently […]

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