41 research outputs found

    Immunotherapy for Pediatric Cancer

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    AbstractImprovements in adult cancer survivorship can be achieved from behavioral changes and adopting screening programs. Yet, these approaches cannot be readily applied to lower the morbidity and mortality from childhood cancers. Rather, pediatric oncologists must rely on procedures and therapies to treat, rather than prevent malignancies. The systematic application of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery has led to remarkable advances in survival but these improvements have come at a cost. Children routinely receive chemotherapy agents that were designed decades ago, and these drugs have predictable side effects that result in the loss of potential for long-term survivors. The advent of targeted applications of immune-based therapies offers children with cancer a new class of oncolytic therapies that may be used to treat disease refractory to conventional approaches and lessen the toxicity of current treatment regimens without compromising remission. This review explores how 3 components of the immune system—T cells, natural killer (NK) cells, and antibodies—can be used for therapy of pediatric malignancies

    Quantitative High-Throughput Single-Cell Cytotoxicity Assay for T cells

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    Cancer immunotherapy can harness the specificity of immune response to target and eliminate tumors. Adoptive cell therapy (ACT) based on the adoptive transfer of T cells genetically modified to express a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) has shown considerable promise in clinical trials1-4. There are several advantages to using CAR+ T cells for the treatment of cancers including the ability to target non-MHC restricted antigens and to functionalize the T cells for optimal survival, homing and persistence within the host; and finally to induce apoptosis of CAR+ T cells in the event of host toxicity5. Delineating the optimal functions of CAR+ T cells associated with clinical benefit is essential for designing the next generation of clinical trials. Recent advances in live animal imaging like multiphoton microscopy have revolutionized the study of immune cell function in vivo6,7. While these studies have advanced our understanding of T-cell functions in vivo, T-cell based ACT in clinical trials requires the need to link molecular and functional features of T-cell preparations pre-infusion with clinical efficacy post-infusion, by utilizing in vitro assays monitoring T-cell functions like, cytotoxicity and cytokine secretion. Standard flow-cytometry based assays have been developed that determine the overall functioning of populations of T cells at the single-cell level but these are not suitable for monitoring conjugate formation and lifetimes or the ability of the same cell to kill multiple targets8. Microfabricated arrays designed in biocompatible polymers like polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) are a particularly attractive method to spatially confine effectors and targets in small volumes9. In combination with automated time-lapse fluorescence microscopy, thousands of effector-target interactions can be monitored simultaneously by imaging individual wells of a nanowell array. We present here a high-throughput methodology for monitoring T-cell mediated cytotoxicity at the single-cell level that can be broadly applied to studying the cytolytic functionality of T cells

    Individual motile CD4+ T cells can participate in efficient multikilling through conjugation to multiple tumor cells

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    T cells genetically modified to express a CD19-specific chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) for the investigational treatment of B-cell malignancies comprise a heterogeneous population, and their ability to persist and participate in serial killing of tumor cells is a predictor of therapeutic success. We implemented Timelapse Imaging Microscopy in Nanowell Grids (TIMING) to provide direct evidence that CD4+CAR+ T cells (CAR4 cells) can engage in multikilling via simultaneous conjugation to multiple tumor cells. Comparisons of the CAR4 cells and CD8+CAR+ T cells (CAR8 cells) demonstrate that, although CAR4 cells can participate in killing and multikilling, they do so at slower rates, likely due to the lower granzyme B content. Significantly, in both sets of T cells, a minor subpopulation of individual T cells identified by their high motility demonstrated efficient killing of single tumor cells. A comparison of the multikiller and single-killer CAR+ T cells revealed that the propensity and kinetics of T-cell apoptosis were modulated by the number of functional conjugations. T cells underwent rapid apoptosis, and at higher frequencies, when conjugated to single tumor cells in isolation, and this effect was more pronounced on CAR8 cells. Our results suggest that the ability of CAR+ T cells to participate in multikilling should be evaluated in the context of their ability to resist activation-induced cell death. We anticipate that TIMING may be used to rapidly determine the potency of T-cell populations and may facilitate the design and manufacture of next-generation CAR+ T cells with improved efficacy. Cancer Immunol Res; 3(5); 473–82. ©2015 AACR

    Large expert-curated database for benchmarking document similarity detection in biomedical literature search

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    Document recommendation systems for locating relevant literature have mostly relied on methods developed a decade ago. This is largely due to the lack of a large offline gold-standard benchmark of relevant documents that cover a variety of research fields such that newly developed literature search techniques can be compared, improved and translated into practice. To overcome this bottleneck, we have established the RElevant LIterature SearcH consortium consisting of more than 1500 scientists from 84 countries, who have collectively annotated the relevance of over 180 000 PubMed-listed articles with regard to their respective seed (input) article/s. The majority of annotations were contributed by highly experienced, original authors of the seed articles. The collected data cover 76% of all unique PubMed Medical Subject Headings descriptors. No systematic biases were observed across different experience levels, research fields or time spent on annotations. More importantly, annotations of the same document pairs contributed by different scientists were highly concordant. We further show that the three representative baseline methods used to generate recommended articles for evaluation (Okapi Best Matching 25, Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency and PubMed Related Articles) had similar overall performances. Additionally, we found that these methods each tend to produce distinct collections of recommended articles, suggesting that a hybrid method may be required to completely capture all relevant articles. The established database server located at https://relishdb.ict.griffith.edu.au is freely available for the downloading of annotation data and the blind testing of new methods. We expect that this benchmark will be useful for stimulating the development of new powerful techniques for title and title/abstract-based search engines for relevant articles in biomedical research.Peer reviewe

    A História da Alimentação: balizas historiográficas

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    Os M. pretenderam traçar um quadro da História da Alimentação, não como um novo ramo epistemológico da disciplina, mas como um campo em desenvolvimento de práticas e atividades especializadas, incluindo pesquisa, formação, publicações, associações, encontros acadêmicos, etc. Um breve relato das condições em que tal campo se assentou faz-se preceder de um panorama dos estudos de alimentação e temas correia tos, em geral, segundo cinco abardagens Ia biológica, a econômica, a social, a cultural e a filosófica!, assim como da identificação das contribuições mais relevantes da Antropologia, Arqueologia, Sociologia e Geografia. A fim de comentar a multiforme e volumosa bibliografia histórica, foi ela organizada segundo critérios morfológicos. A seguir, alguns tópicos importantes mereceram tratamento à parte: a fome, o alimento e o domínio religioso, as descobertas européias e a difusão mundial de alimentos, gosto e gastronomia. O artigo se encerra com um rápido balanço crítico da historiografia brasileira sobre o tema

    Persuading Natural Killer Cells to Eliminate Bad B Cells: Fig. 1.

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    Peripheral and Thymic Foxp3+ Regulatory T Cells in Search of Origin, Distinction and Function

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    Over the past decade, much has been learnt and much more to discover about Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs). Initially, it was thought that Tregs were a unique entity that originates in the thymus. It is now recognized that there is a fraternal twin sibling that is generated in the periphery. The difficulty is in the distinction between these two subsets. The ability to detect, monitor and analyze these two subsets in health and disease will provide invaluable insights into their functions and purposes. The plasticity and mechanisms of action can be unique and not overlapping within these subsets. Therefore, the therapeutic targeting of a particular subset of Tregs might be more efficacious. In the past couple of years, a vast amount of data have provided a better understanding of the cellular and molecular components essential for their development and stability. Many studies are implicating their preferential involvement in certain diseases and immunologic tolerance. However, it remains controversial as to whether any phenotypic markers have been identified that can differentiate thymic versus peripheral Tregs. This review will address the validity and controversy regarding Helios, Lap/Garp and Neuropilin-1 as markers of thymic Tregs. It also will discuss updated information on distinguishing features of these two subsets and their critical roles in maternal-fetal tolerance and transplantation