Keyword: immune system

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In situ vaccination

Turning tumors into cancer vaccine factories

Researchers at Mount Sinai have developed a novel approach to cancer immunotherapy, injecting immune stimulants directly into a tumor to teach the immune system to destroy it and other tumor cells throughout the body. The “in situ vaccination” worked so well in patients with advanced-stage lymphoma that it is also undergoing trials in breast and head and neck cancer patients, according to a…

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Tumor-associated macrophages

Immune cells key to predicting cancer outcomes

Scientists have identified key changes in immune cells within cancerous tumours that could help improve the development of treatments. The study, which has been published in the journal Cancer Cell, also found a set of genes that are expressed at high levels in breast cancer tumours and linked to more aggressive cancer types. Researchers say the discoveries offer clues to diagnosis and predicting…

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Dial 'M' for microfold cells

Identifying a key player in gut defense development

A joint team from Hokkaido University and Keio University has identified a gut protein essential for neonatal mice to fight infections, according to research published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. The insight could help understand how infants develop their own intestinal immune systems after weaning. The gut is constantly exposed to potentially harmful bacteria that come with food and…

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Virology

Trapping viruses inside a cell: harmful or helpful?

Viruses are often used as vehicles for delivery in gene therapy because they’re engineered not to damage the cell once they get there, but neglecting to consider how the virus will exit the cell could have consequences. Some viruses use a molecule called heparan sulfate to help them attach to cells. The molecule, found in many different kinds of cells (including those from animal tissue), could…

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A healthy nap

How sleep strengthens the immune system

Getting enough sleep is vital to supporting our immune system in fighting off pathogens – this much is common knowledge. But what we don't know is how exactly sleep affects certain immune functions. Scientists at the Universities of Tübingen and Lübeck have now discovered a new mechanism by which sleep supports the immune system. The team led by Dr. Luciana Besedovsky and Dr. Stoyan Dimitrov…

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Multiple sclerosis

Old cells repair damage in the brains of MS patients

A new study shows that there is a very limited regeneration of cells in the brain of patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). These findings underline the importance of treating MS at an early stage of the disease progression, when the affected cells can repair the damage as they are not replaced by new ones. The results are published in the journal Nature by researchers from Karolinska…

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Immuno-oncological biomarkers

Seeking to augment the value of tumour infiltrating lymphocytes

Measuring tumour infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) is gaining importance in immunotherapy, but other variables must also be considered to boost prognosis and prediction accuracy, a leading pathologist argued at EBCC 11 last March in Barcelona. When it comes to prognosis and prediction for immunotherapy, a potentially new variable is emerging – TILs – white blood cells that have left the blood…

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Immune-boosting substance

This gel could help the body after cancer surgery

Many people who are diagnosed with cancer will undergo some type of surgery to treat their disease — almost 95 percent of people with early-diagnosed breast cancer will require surgery and it’s often the first line of treatment for people with brain tumors, for example. But despite improvements in surgical techniques over the past decade, the cancer often comes back after the procedure. Now,…

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Painful protein

Understanding Bechterew's disease

Autoimmune diseases like Bechterew’s disease direct our immune systems agains our own bodies. Now, researchers at Jacobs University Bremen have come one step closer to understanding the molecular mechanisms of the disease also known as ankylosing spondylitis. It is characterized by long-term painful inflammation of the joints and deformation of the spine. One suspected cause is a particular…

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New function assessment

Measuring immune cell response within minutes

T cells fight pathogens and tumors: Researchers from the Universities of Tübingen and Lübeck present a simple and fast method to rapidly assess their function. Due to its simplicity, reliability and versatility, it could be broadly implemented for basic research and in the clinical setting. Methods so far to test T-cell response were technically cumbersome and time-consuming and therefore only…

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A new approach

"Universal antibodies" disarm various pathogens

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have been studying how the immune system succeeds in keeping pathogens in check. For the first time, the researchers have now discovered antibodies that are capable of disarming not only one specific bacterium but a whole variety of microorganisms at once. The newly discovered antibodies recognize a tiny sugar structure found on the surface…

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Seasonal allergies

Your child's learning disability might be something else entirely

Seasonal allergies can be a nuisance for children as well as adults. And in some young children, the symptoms of seasonal allergies can be mistaken for inattentiveness or learning disabilities. Dr. Maria Garcia-Lloret, a pediatric allergist at the UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital, explains that certain symptoms characteristic of learning disabilities or behavioral problems, such as fidgeting and…

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Benefits of country life

Kids with pets, rural upbringing become stress-resilient adults

Children raised in a rural environment, surrounded by animals and bacteria-laden dust, grow up to have more stress-resilient immune systems and might be at lower risk of mental illness than pet-free city dwellers, according to new research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The study, co-authored by researchers from the University of Ulm in Germany…

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Research

Patient immune response could prevent heart failure

Patients’ own immune response has the potential to prevent the development and progression of heart failure, according to research presented at Frontiers in CardioVascular Biology (FCVB) 2018, a European Society of Cardiology congress. The study found antibodies in the plasma and heart muscle of end-stage heart failure patients. “The role of the immune response in the development of heart…

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Immunological memory

Our brains 'remember' inflammation and diseases

Inflammatory reactions can change the brain’s immune cells in the long term – meaning that these cells have an ‘immunological memory’. This memory may influence the progression of neurological disorders that occur later in life, and is therefore a previously unknown factor that could influence the severity of these diseases. Scientists at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases…

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Immunotherapy

Promising vaccine suppresses peanut allergies in mice

A vaccine may successfully turn off peanut allergy in mice, a new study shows. Just three monthly doses of a nasal vaccine protected the mice from allergic reactions upon exposure to peanut, according to research from the Mary H. Weiser Food Allergy Center at the University of Michigan. The study, funded by grants from Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) and the Department of Defense, was…

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Right in the stomach

Helicobacter creates immune system blind spot

While gastritis and gastric ulcer disease used to be put down to stress and dietary factors, it was discovered in the 1980s that the actual culprit is infection with a bacterium, H. pylori. This pathogen is now classed as a type I carcinogen by the WHO, as it is the major risk factor for development of gastric carcinoma. Attempts to develop a vaccine against H. pylori have been unsuccessful and…

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Joining strengths

Vaccination and infection control: Two pillars of prevention

Synchronised efforts between preventive medicine and immunology enable powerful vaccination strategies in a Spanish seniors hub. Efficient prevention also comes with proper infection control and regulating antibiotics use in primary care, local expert in preventive medicine explained in an exclusive interview with EH. Working in a small structure has its perks, one of which is that departments…

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Predictive biomarkers

Immunotherapy follow-up with MRI: the search is on

Immunotherapy is taking center stage in imaging, but patient follow-up with CT is no cookie and may fall short in the peripheral limbs, brain and bone marrow. MRI offers specific benefits in these situations, and, combined with PET, it may bring even more results. Research must be carried out on quantitative techniques and tracers developed to fully exploit that potential, Prof. Dow-Mu Koh…

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Cancer pseudoprogression

Immunotherapy: Bigger lesions, better outcomes

With immunotherapy, bigger lesions may be spotted on CT, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the disease is progressing. As treatment works, it can cause what has become known as pseudo disease progression; and this is just one of the many revolutions immunotherapy is triggering in oncology imaging, Professor Clarisse Dromain (Lausanne/CH) explained as she opened the session dedicated to this…

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Immunotherapy

The DNA mismatch repair mechanism

A new genetic study by UK-based scientists suggests that immunotherapy drugs could prove to be an effective treatment for some breast cancer patients. Scientists from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, near Cambridge – one of the world’s leading genome centres – and their collaborators, have identified particular genetic changes in a DNA repair mechanism in breast cancer. Led by Dr Serena…

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Broken immune clock

Why shift work might be to blame for obesity and diabetes

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…

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