Engineered T cells may be harnessed to kill solid tumor cells

There is now a multitude of therapies to treat cancer, from chemotherapy and radiation to immunotherapy and small molecule inhibitors. Chemotherapy is still the most widely used cancer treatment, but chemotherapy attacks all the rapidly dividing cells that it locates within the body, whether they’re ultimately harmful or beneficial. A new Tel Aviv University study led by Dr. Yaron Carmi […]

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Stem cells with ‘dual identity’ linked to loss of smell from sinus inflammation

In experiments with mice and human tissue samples, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers report evidence that neuronal stem cells in the part of the nose responsible for the sense of smell transform themselves to perpetuate the long-term inflammation in chronic sinusitis. Results of the study, they say, suggest that the stem cells’ ability to switch their identity to join in the […]

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Enzyme known for promoting cancer found to also protect healthy cells

New research from the University of Maryland and the National Institutes of Health reveals a new role for the enzyme telomerase. Telomerase’s only known role in normal tissue was to protect certain cells that divide regularly, such as embryonic cells, sperm cells, adult stem cells and immune cells. Scientists thought telomerase was turned off in all other cells, except in […]

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Turbocharging the body’s natural killer cells to defeat cancer

Natural Killer (NK) cells have long been the soldiers of the immune system that prevents the growth and spread of cancers, and subduing this army of cells is one of the key ways that tumours take hold. Australian researchers have discovered a protein found in humans that prevents NK cells from doing their job fighting cancer. Importantly the study, published […]

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Insight into cells’ ‘self-eating’ process could pave the way for new dementia treatments

Cells regularly go through a process called autophagy—literally translated as ‘self-eating’ – which helps to destroy bacteria and viruses after infection. When it works, this process counteracts neurodegenerative conditions such as dementia and Huntington’s Disease, by getting rid of unwanted proteins and their resultant harm to cells. But when autophagy fails or defects occur, it can give rise to such […]

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Mini-kidneys grown from stem cells provide new insights into kidney disease and potential therapies

An international team of researchers led by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has grown ‘miniature kidneys’ in the laboratory that could be used to better understand how kidney diseases develop in individual patients. The mini kidneys, known as kidney organoids, were grown outside the body from skin cells derived from a single patient who has polycystic kidney disease, one […]

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Study links progenitor cells to age-related prostate growth

The prostates of older mice contain more luminal progenitor cells—cells capable of generating new prostate tissue—than the prostates of younger mice, UCLA researchers have discovered. The observation, published in Cell Reports, helps explain why, as people age, the prostate tends to grow, leading to an increased risk for prostate cancer and other conditions. “Understanding what’s causing the prostate to grow […]

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Proposed gene therapy for a heart arrhythmia, based on models made from patient cells

Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital report creating the first human tissue model of an inherited heart arrhythmia, replicating two patients’ abnormal heart rhythms in a dish, and then suppressing the arrhythmia with gene therapy in a mouse model. Their work, published in two papers in the July 30 print issue of the journal Circulation, opens the possibility of developing single-dose […]

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A genomic barcode tracker for immune cells

Researchers from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research have developed a new method to spot rare immune cells that are reactive against cancer cells, from within a patient’s own immune system. The patented ‘RAGE-seq’ method enables scientists to track how immune cells evolve inside tumour tissue for the first time, revealing unprecedented insight into how to better arm the immune […]

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New evidence shows cytotoxic T cells can identify, invade, and destroy targets of large mass like T. gondii tissue cysts

CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes can kill host cells infected with various microorganisms as well as single individual cancer cells through direct cell-to-cell contact, but their ability to destroy a target of large mass remains unexplored. A study in The American Journal of Pathology provided novel evidence on the capability of the immune system to eliminate large parasite-filled cysts associated with […]

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