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Dana-Farber researchers report clinical trial results in treatment of leukemia and lymphoma

New results from clinical trials of immunotherapy and experimental targeted agents for patients with leukemia and lymphoma are being presented by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting Dec. 1-4.  Here are summaries of three presentations, including one that compared outcomes of CAR T-cell therapy in patients in clinical trials with outcomes in the “real world” of clinical practice: CAR T-cell treatment provides durable
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Immunotherapy combination and chemotherapy show encouraging results in Phase II acute myeloid leukemia study

 A triple therapy combining two immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICPIs) with the standard-of-care chemotherapy, a hypomethylating agent called azacitidine, has shown promising results for treatment of relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML), according to findings from a Phase II study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Findings from the study, led by Naval Daver, M.D., associate professor of Leukemia, are being presented at the 60th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting & Exposition in San Diego. The
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Study Uncovers Key Parts of Mechanism for Activating T Cells to Fight Cancer and Other Diseases

In just a few years, CAR T-cell and other adoptive T-cell therapies have emerged as among the most promising forms of cancer immunotherapy. But even as these agents prove themselves against several forms of leukemia and lymphoma – and, potentially, certain solid tumors – basic questions remain about how they work. In a study published online today by the journal Immunity, scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Vanderbilt
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Discovery Could Lead to Higher Response Rates for Bladder Cancer Patients Treated with Immunotherapy

Mount Sinai researchers have discovered that a particular type of cell present in bladder cancer may be the reason why so many patients do not respond to the groundbreaking class of drugs known as PD-1 and PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitors, which enable the immune system to attack tumors. In a study published in August in Nature Communications, the Mount Sinai team reported that stromal cells, a subset of connective tissue cells
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First In-Human Clinical Trial Targeting CD4 Protein for Aggressive T-cell Leukemia and Lymphoma to be Launched

Stony Brook University, iCell Gene Therapeutics, and the University of Louisville, have received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for an Investigational New Drug (IND) for the treatment of relapsed and refractory T-cell leukemia and lymphoma. The approach is the first to use chimeric antigen receptor engineered T-cells directed against the target protein CD4 (CD4CAR). Together, Stony Brook University, the University of Louisville, and iCell Gene Therapeutics expect the first
Immunotherapies

Harnessing Hair Loss Gene Could Improve Cancer Immunotherapy

A gene that’s associated with an autoimmune form of hair loss could be exploited to improve cancer immunotherapy, suggests a new mouse study by Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) researchers. The paper was published recently in the journal Cell Systems. “While immunotherapies have shown great promise in cancer, most patients do not benefit from these treatments because their tumors are able to evade the immune system,” said study leader Angela
Immunotherapies

Scientists Identify a Protein Complex That Shapes the Destiny of T Cells

Like a mentor helping medical students choose between specialties, a protein complex helps shape the destiny of developing T cells, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists have reported. The research appears today in the journal Science Immunology and adds to growing evidence of the critical role cell metabolism plays in the immune system. The protein complex is mTORC1, which regulates cell growth and metabolism. St. Jude immunologists found mTORC1 acts
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Lethal Prostate Cancer Treatment May Benefit from Combination Immunotherapy

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (BKI) released a study investigating the use of combination checkpoint immunotherapy in the treatment of a lethal form of advanced prostate cancer. The study suggested a genetic subset of prostate cancer may benefit from this form of immunotherapy. The study targeted AR-V7+ prostate cancer with a combination of two checkpoint blockers, ipilimumab and nivolumab, in
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Checkpoint Inhibitor Shrinks Advanced Squamous Cell Skin Cancer

Clinical trials show that an immune checkpoint inhibitor shrinks the tumors of nearly half of patients with an incurable, advanced form of a common skin cancer, an international team led by a researcher at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reports in the New England Journal of Medicine. “These results mark a potential paradigm shift in the treatment of patients with advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, who to date have had very
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Nuclear Pore Functions Are Essential for T Cell Survival

Study reveals an unexpected regulatory role for Nup210 in T cell homeostasis Nuclear pore complexes in the nuclear membrane not only control the transport of molecules into and out of the nucleus—they play an essential role in the survival of T cells. A new study by Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) researchers describes how a specific nuclear pore component is critical for the survival of circulating T cells.
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CAR-T Immunotherapy Eliminates Metastatic Colorectal Cancer in Mice

Immunotherapy has given patients and oncologists new options, which for some patients, has meant cures for diseases that had been untreatable. Colorectal cancer has a high mortality rate in advanced stages of the disease with few effective therapies. Researchers at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (SKCC) at Jefferson Health show that a type of immunotherapy called CAR-T cell therapy, successfully kills tumors and prevents metastases in mouse models of the
Immunotherapies

Peer Reviewed Paper: Novel Immunotherapy Actives CD4 Helper T Cells using HLA-Class II Molecules

The findings detailed in an upcoming peer-reviewed paper provide a rationale for the encouraging clinical results observed with Bria-IMT™, an immunotherapy from BriaCell Therapeutics, in current and past clinical testing.  The paper will appear in Frontiers in Immunology, the 5th most cited journal in Immunology worldwide.  Bria-IMT™, also known as SV-BR-1-GM, has caused remarkable reduction of tumor size in some patients with advanced metastatic breast cancer. Understanding Bria‑IMT™’s mechanism of
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Molecular Inhibitors Can Boost Natural Tumor Suppression to Fight Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma

Inhibition of the oncogenic kinase AKT, a key protein governing the cell cycle, was found to arrest cancer cell proliferation and triggered their programmed death by apoptosis. The study, published today in Oncogene, represents significant progress in the clinical translation of previous basic scientific discoveries. “Understanding the molecular features that govern cancer cell behavior is the basis for the design of the so-called ‘targeted therapies’ which constitute modern precision medicine,”
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Potential new approach to the treatment of multiple sclerosis

A prospective new method of treating patients with multiple sclerosis has been proposed by researchers of the Mainz University Medical Center working in cooperation with researchers of the University of Montreal. In model trials and experiments employing human endothelial cells, they discovered that the EGFL7 protein hinders the migration of immune cells into the central nervous system by stabilizing the blood-brain barrier. These findings have recently been published in Nature
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Smart Bomb Virus Shows Promise as Brain Tumor Immunotherapy

A common cold virus engineered to attack the most common and deadly of brain tumors allowed 20 percent of patients with recurrent glioblastoma to live for three years or longer, researchers from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center report on a phase I clinical trial in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The altered adenovirus, called Delta-24-RGD or DNX-2401, was injected one time directly into the tumors of 25
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Untimely Immune Cell Clocks May Contribute To Obesity And Diabetes In Shift Workers

About 15 million Americans don’t have a typical nine-to-five workday, and many of these—nurses, firefighters and flight attendants, among many other professions—may see their schedule change drastically one week to the next. As a result, these shift workers’ biological clocks, which keep track of the time of day, cannot keep accurate time, potentially making the negative effects of a high fat diet on metabolic disorders even more pronounced, according to new
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T Cell Therapy Shows Persistent Benefits in Young Leukemia Patients

CHOP Oncologists Update Analysis in Pivotal Global Trial of CAR T-Cell Treatment for Relapsed or Refractory ALL Updated results from a global clinical trial of the CAR T-cell therapy, tisagenlecleucel, a landmark personalized treatment for a high-risk form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), reveal that children and young adults continued to show high rates of durable, complete remission of their disease. Most side effects were short-lived and reversible, according to
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Bioengineered Soft Microfibers Improve T-Cell Production

Columbia engineers bioengineer soft microfibers to improve T-cell production. T cells play a key role in the body’s immune response against pathogens. As a new class of therapeutic approaches, T cells are being harnessed to fight cancer, promising more precise, longer-lasting mitigation than traditional, chemical-based approaches. These “living drugs” are poised to transform medicine, with a growing number of cellular therapies receiving FDA-approval. A current bottleneck in these approaches and
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Two New Breast Cancer Genes Emerge from Lynch Syndrome Gene Study

The findings suggest that genetic screening for breast cancer should be expanded to include MSH6 and PMS2 Researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian have identified two new breast cancer genes. Having one of the genes—MSH6 and PMS2—approximately doubles a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer by age 60. The study, in collaboration with GeneDx, a genetic testing company, was published online today in Genetics in Medicine. The
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Tumor Mutational Burden and Response to Immune Checkpoint Therapy

Predicting how patients will respond to anti-cancer therapies can be vital in informing clinical decisions and improving treatment outcome.  Researchers at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey examined an association between mutational burden and response to immune checkpoint therapy in several cancer types and found that a mutational burden threshold exists in eight cancers that predict response to an immune checkpoint blockade. The work’s co-corresponding authors Shridar Ganesan, MD, PhD,