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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Immunologists identify T cell homing beacons for lungs

Scientists have identified a pair of molecules critical for T cells, part of the immune system, to travel to and populate the lungs. A potential application could be strengthening vaccines against respiratory pathogens such as influenza. The findings were published online Thursday, September 26 in Journal of Experimental Medicine. Much research on immunity to influenza virus focuses on antibodies, infection- […]

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CAR T cell therapy: On the cusp of ‘an immunotherapy revolution’?

A deeper understanding of the immune system’s role in controlling cancer has helped drive “an immunotherapy revolution,” offering hope for many patients with previously incurable cancers, including children, doctors have concluded in a new report. The assessment, from two Stanford University doctors, is part of their broader analysis on lessons learned from “the first leg of the CAR T cell […]

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Michael Schumacher’s stem cell surgery is ‘experimental’, doctor says

Could pioneering stem cell treatment offer hope for Michael Schumacher? How French surgeon drafted in for a ‘secret operation’ is at the forefront of the experimental procedure being tested on heart failure It is understood the German will be operated on by a heart specialist in Paris The procedure is thought to involve grafting stem cells onto damaged tissue An […]

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Targeting a blood stem cell subset shows lasting, therapeutically relevant gene editing

In a paper published in the July 31 issue of Science Translational Medicine, researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center used CRISPR-Cas9 to edit long-lived blood stem cells to reverse the clinical symptoms observed with several blood disorders, including sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia. It’s the first time that scientists have specifically edited the genetic makeup of a specialized subset […]

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