Volume 2.18 | May 13

Human Immunology News 2.18 May 13, 2014
Human Immunology News
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Study Demonstrates that a New Cancer Immunotherapy Method Could Be Effective against a Wide Range of Cancers
A new method for using immunotherapy to specifically attack tumor cells that have mutations unique to a patient’s cancer has been developed. The researchers demonstrated that the human immune system can mount a response against mutant proteins expressed by cancers that arise in epithelial cells which can line the internal and external surfaces (such as the skin) of the body. [Press release from the National Institutes of Health discussing online prepublication in Science] Press Release | Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Active Idiotypic Vaccination versus Control Immunotherapy for Follicular Lymphoma
Idiotypes (Ids), the unique portions of tumor immunoglobulins, can serve as targets for passive and active immunotherapies for lymphoma. Researchers performed a multicenter, randomized trial comparing a specific vaccine, comprising Id chemically coupled to keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) plus granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) to a control immunotherapy with KLH plus GM-CSF. [J Clin Oncol]
Abstract | Press Release

Intravenous Immunoglobulin Treatment in Humans Suppresses Dendritic Cell Function via Stimulation of IL-4 and IL-13 Production
Researchers showed that i.v. Ig (IVIg) in patients results in increases in plasma levels of IL-33, IL-4, and IL-13 and that increments in IL-33 levels correlate with rises in plasma IL-4 and IL-13 levels. Strikingly, no upregulation of FcγRIIb expression was found, but instead a decreased expression of the activating FcγRIIa on circulating myeloid dendritic cells after high-dose, but not after low-dose, IVIg treatment. [J Immunol] Abstract

Dectin-1 Pathway Activates Robust Autophagy-Dependent Unconventional Protein Secretion in Human Macrophages
Scientists used a systems biology approach to provide the first comprehensive characterization of the secretome and associated intracellular signaling pathways involved in activation of dectin-1/Syk in human macrophages. [J Immunol] Abstract

Direct T Cell-Tumor Interaction Triggers TH1 Phenotype Activation through the Modification of the Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Transcriptional Program
Tumor-activated tumor infiltrating lymphocytes induced TH1 phenotype change in mesenchymal stromal cells that is qualitatively similar to the previously described immunologic constant of rejection signature observed during immune-mediated, tissue-specific destruction. This response may be responsible for the in loco amplification of antigen-specific anti-cancer immune response. [Br J Cancer] Full Article

Yeast Modulation of Human Dendritic Cell Cytokine Secretion: An In Vitro Study
Researchers evaluated 170 yeast strains representing 75 diverse species for modulation of inflammatory cytokine secretion by human dendritic cells (DCs) in vitro, as compared to cytokine responses induced by a Saccharomyces boulardii reference strain with probiotic properties documented in clinical trials. Furthermore, they investigated whether cytokine inducing interactions between yeasts and human DCs are dependent upon yeast viability or rather a product of membrane interactions regardless of yeast metabolic function. [PLoS One] Full Article

Hepatitis C Virus Core Protein Inhibits Interferon Production by a Human Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cell Line and Dysregulates Interferon Regulatory Factor-7 and Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription (STAT) 1 Protein Expression
Investigators defined how extracellular HCV core protein (Core) modulates pattern recognition receptor signaling in plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs). Type I and III interferon expression and production following exposure to recombinant Core or β-galactosidase was assessed in human GEN2.2 cells, a pDC cell line. [PLoS One]
Full Article

Ovarian Tumor-Associated MicroRNA-20a Decreases Natural Killer Cell Cytotoxicity by Downregulating MICA/B Expression
Investigators found that microRNA-20a binds directly to the 3′-untranslated region of MICA/B mRNA, resulting in its degradation and reducing its protein levels on the plasma membrane. Reduction of membrane-bound MICA/B proteins, which are ligands of the natural killer group 2 member D receptor found on natural killer cells, γδ+ T cells and CD8+ T cells, allows tumor cells to evade immune-mediated killing. [Cell Mol Immunol] Abstract

High-Dose Interleukin-2 Therapy for Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma: A Contemporary Experience
Researchers presented their experience of high-dose interleukin-2 in a high-volume National Cancer Institute-designated center for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. [Urology] Abstract | Press Release

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The Role of Inflammation for a Successful Implantation
Scientists discuss the hypothesis that the injury-derived inflammation in the biopsy-treated patients generates a focus for uterine dendritic cells and Mac accumulation that, in turn, enhance the endometrial expression of essential molecules that facilitate the interaction between the embryo and the uterine epithelium. [Am J Reprod Immunol] Abstract

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NeoStem Announces Licensing Agreement and Plans to Begin Phase II Hepatocellular Carcinoma Trial in China
NeoStem, Inc. announced that the company has signed an exclusive license agreement with China-based Cellular Biomedicine Group to begin a Phase II clinical trial in patients with late stage liver cancer. The trial, to be conducted in China in accordance with international standards, will investigate the use of the company’s developmental patient-specific cancer immunotherapy known as “DC-TC”, in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. [NeoStem, Inc.] Press Release

Medical College of Wisconsin Receives Grant from National Cancer Institute to Develop Novel Cellular Immunotherapy
The Medical College of Wisconsin has received a five-year, $1.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute to support development of novel immune cell-based therapies to cancer. [Medical College of Wisconsin] Press Release

AstraZeneca Initiates Phase III Immunotherapy Study for MEDI4736 in Patients with Lung Cancer
AstraZeneca announced the start of the Phase III program for MEDI4736, an immunotherapy in development for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer and other cancers. [AstraZeneca] Press Release

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NEW Postdoctoral Scholar – Cancer Research (University of Chicago)

NEW PhD Studentship – Characterization of Human Antibodies Removed from the Repertoire in Central Tolerance (King’s College London)

Principal Investigator – Molecular Mechanisms of Inflammation (Inflammation Research Center – VIB-UGent)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Inflammatory Mechanisms in Chronic Rhinosinusitis (Johns Hopkins University)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Adoptive T Cell Immunotherapy (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Systemic Autoimmunity (Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation)

Director – Human Immunology (Biogen Idec)

Director of GMP/GLP Quality Operations (University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine)

PhD Research Position – Immune Tolerance and Autoimmunity (Weizmann Institute of Science)

Research Technologist – hPSC (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Associate – Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Technologist – Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Technologist – PSC Biology and Bioengineering (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

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