Volume 3.49 | Dec 15

Human Immunology News 3.49 December 15, 2015
Human Immunology News
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Immune System Study Reveals How Infants Respond to Infections
Researchers examined tissue from 64 individual organ donors, including infants and adults. They found that infant tissues had more newly formed T cells than effector and memory cells throughout the body compared with adults. [Press release from Columbia University Medical Center discussing online prepublication in Nature Medicine] Press Release | Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Tracking Genetically Engineered Lymphocytes Long-Term Reveals the Dynamics of T Cell Immunological Memory
To unravel the immunological requirements for long-term persistence of human memory T cells, researchers characterized and traced, over several years, T lymphocytes genetically modified to express the thymidine kinase suicide gene that were infused in ten patients after haploidentical hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. [Sci Transl Med] Abstract | Editorial

Natural Cytotoxicity Receptor Splice Variants Orchestrate the Distinct Functions of Human Natural Killer Cell Subtypes
Investigators report that decidua basalis natural killer (NK) cells of the pregnant uterine mucosa and peripheral blood NK cells, two functionally distinct subsets of the physiological NK cell pool, display differential expression of NKp30/NCR3 and NKp44/NCR2 splice variants. [Nat Commun] Full Article

The NKG2D – IL-15 Signaling Pathway Contributes to T-Cell Mediated Pathology in Inflammatory Myopathies
Scientists determined the involvement of the NKG2D – IL-15 signaling pathway. Membrane-related expression of IL-15 by myoblasts induced differentiation of naïve CD8+ T cells into highly activated, cytotoxic CD8+NKG2Dhigh T cells demonstrating NKG2D-dependent lysis of myoblasts in vitro. [Oncotarget] Full Article

Vitamin D Supplementation Modulates T Cell-Mediated Immunity in Humans: Results from a Randomized Control Trial
Scientists found that high dose vitamin D3 significantly reduced CD4+ T cell activation compared to low dose vitamin D3, providing human evidence that vitamin D can influence cell-mediated immunity. [J Clin Endocrinol Metab] Abstract | Full Article

Low Stromal Foxp3+ Regulatory T-Cell Density Is Associated with Complete Response to Neoadjuvant Chemoradiotherapy in Rectal Cancer
Foxp3+, CD3+, CD4+, CD8+ and IL-17+ cell density in post-chemoradiotherapy surgical samples from 128 patients with rectal cancer was assessed by immunohistochemistry. The relationship between T-cell subset densities and clinical outcome was evaluated. [Br J Cancer] Abstract

Regulatory B Cells Contribute to the Impaired Antitumor Immunity in Ovarian Cancer Patients
To examine whether increased interleukin-10+ B cells in ascites could directly result in increased suppression of interferon gamma (IFN-g) production by CD8+ T cells, scientists cocultured CD8+ T cells with autologous blood B cells or ascitic B cells and found that CD8+ T cells cocultured with ascitic B cells demonstrated significantly suppressed IFN-g production. [Tumor Biol] Abstract

Appearance of CMV Specific T-Cells Predicts Fast Resolution of Viremia Post Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
Researchers studied 58 pediatric patients after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation who suffered from cytomegalovirus (CMV) reactivation to reveal which functional T cell subset is best correlating with successful reactivation resolution and which protects from reactivation episode. [Cytometry B Clin Cytom] Abstract

Long-Term Outcome of a Phase II Trial Using Immunomodulatory In Situ Gene Therapy in Combination with Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy with or without Hormonal Therapy in the Treatment of Prostate Cancer
The combination of immunomodulatory in situ gene therapy and intensity-modulated radiotherapy with or without hormonal therapy was feasible, safe, and effective in the treatment of prostate cancer. [J Radiat Oncol] Abstract | Press Release

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Immunological Effects of Conventional Chemotherapy and Targeted Anticancer Agents
Although largely neglected in the clinical practice, accumulating evidence indicates that the efficacy of conventional and targeted anticancer agents does not only involve direct cytostatic/cytotoxic effects, but also relies on the (re)activation of tumor-targeting immune responses. Chemotherapy can promote such responses by increasing the immunogenicity of malignant cells, or by inhibiting immunosuppressive circuitries that are established by developing neoplasms. [Cancer Cell] Abstract

Clinical Relevance of Host Immunity in Breast Cancer: From TILs to the Clinic
The authors discuss the composition of the immune infiltrates observed in breast cancers, as well as data supporting the clinical relevance of host antitumor immunity, as represented by lymphocytic infiltration, and how this biomarker could be used in the clinical setting. [Nat Rev Clin Oncol] Abstract

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TapImmune Presents New Data Showing Robust Generation of T-Cell Immunity
TapImmune, Inc. presented new data in a poster titled, “Robust generation of T-cell immunity to HER2 in HER2+ breast cancer patients with a degenerate subdominant HLA-DR epitope vaccine.” [Press release from TapImmune, Inc. discussing research presented at the 2015 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS), San Antonio] Press Release

T-DM1 Improved Overall Survival for Heavily Pretreated Patients with HER2-Positive Breast Cancer
Among patients with HER2-positive, metastatic breast cancer that had progressed despite treatment with two or more forms of HER2-targeted therapy (trastuzumab and lapatinib), median overall survival was increased for those treated with trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) compared with those who received treatment of physician’s choice. [Press release from the American Association for Cancer Research discussing research presented at the 2015 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS), San Antonio] Press Release

ABCSG 18: Monoclonal Antibody Increases Disease-Free Survival in Breast Cancer
Giving a monoclonal antibody (denosumab) as adjuvant therapy with aromatase inhibitors in postmenopausal, hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer patients reduced the relapse rate by 18%. [Press release from Medical University of Vienna discussing research presented at the 2015 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS), San Antonio] Press Release

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Lilly and Merck Expand Immuno-Oncology Collaboration Adding Abemaciclib and KEYTRUDA® Combination Trial
Eli Lilly and Company and Merck announced another immuno-oncology collaboration that will evaluate abemaciclib, Lilly’s cyclin-dependent kinase 4 and 6 inhibitor, and Merck’s KEYTRUDA® in a Phase I study across multiple tumor types. [Eli Lilly and Company] Press Release

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics Establishes Agreement with The Canadian Brain Tumor Consortium for ICT-107 Phase III Registrational Trial in Glioblastoma
ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd. announced the establishment of an agreement with The Canadian Brain Tumour Consortium for the Phase III registrational trial of its cancer immunotherapy ICT-107 in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma. [ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd.] Press Release

Bellicum and Astellas Announce License Agreement for Cancer Target PSCA in Cell and Gene Therapy
Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Astellas Pharma Inc. announced that Agensys, Inc., an affiliate of Astellas, and Bellicum have entered into a global license agreement, granting Bellicum rights to develop and commercialize adoptive cell therapies, including CAR-T cells, for tumors expressing prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA) using PSCA technology, both in-licensed and developed at Agensys. [Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc.] Press Release

Prima BioMed Progresses Japanese Collaboration
Prima BioMed Ltd. announced important progress in its collaboration with NEC Corporation and Yamaguchi University in Japan. Prima’s IMP321 Antigen Presenting Cell activator is being combined with a therapeutic vaccine for different carcinoma types that was developed at Yamaguchi University. [Prima BioMed Ltd.] Press Release

Complix Advances Novel Biospecific Immunotherapeutic CMX-02 – Enters Agreement with Selexis to Access SUREtechnology Platform™
Complix NV announced that it is advancing the development of CMX-02, a potential treatment of severe autoimmune disease. CMX-02 is a bispecific Alphabody-antibody fusion protein that simultaneously targets TNFα and IL-23. [Complix NV] Press Release

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and Pfizer Initiate Two Phase III Studies of Investigational Immunotherapy Avelumab in Advanced Gastric and Gastro-Esophageal Junction Cancers
Merck KGaA and Pfizer announced the initiation of two Phase III studies of avelumab, an investigational, fully human anti-PD-L1 IgG1 monoclonal antibody, in treating advanced or metastatic gastric/gastro-esophageal junction cancers, which are aggressive cancers with poor survival rates. [Pfizer Inc.] Press Release

U.S. Food & Drug Administration Grants Orphan Drug Designation to TapImmune’s TPIV 200 in the Treatment of Ovarian Cancer
TapImmune, Inc. announced that it has received Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s Office of Orphan Products Development for its cancer vaccine TPIV 200 in the treatment of ovarian cancer. [TapImmune, Inc.] Press Release

FDA Grants Roche’s Alecensa (Alectinib) Accelerated Approval for People with a Specific Type of Lung Cancer
Roche announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to Alecensa® for the treatment of people with anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive, metastatic non-small cell lung cancer who have progressed on or are intolerant to crizotinib. [F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.] Press Release

Advaxis Receives Orphan Drug Designation in the European Union for Axalimogene Filolisbac for the Treatment of Anal Cancer
Advaxis, Inc. announced that the European Medicines Agency has granted Orphan Drug Designation to axalimogene filolisbac for the treatment of anal cancer. [Advaxis, Inc.] Press Release
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Food and Drug Administration (United States)

Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (United States)

European Medicines Agency (European Union)

Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (United Kingdom)

Therapeutic Goods Administration (Australia)
NEW Adoptive T-Cell Therapy Congress
March 15-16, 2016
London, United Kingdom

NEW Advances in Immuno-Oncology Congress 2016
May 12-13, 2016
London, United Kingdom

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the Human Immunology community.
NEW Postdoctoral Position – Immunology & Bioimaging (University Hospital Würzburg)

NEW Postdoctoral Position – Brain Immunology (University of Virginia)

Senior Scientist – Immunology and Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Cancer Immunotherapy (Inserm)

Scientist – Preclinical Immunology (Kanyos Bio)

Postdoctoral Positions – Clinical Implications of Lung Cancer Genomic/Immunogenomic Findings (The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center)

Postdoctoral Position – Immunology (Albert Einstein College of Medicine)

Postdoctoral Position – Mucosal Immunology (University of Southern California)

Postdoctoral Position – Tumor Immunology (iTeos Therapeutics)

Research Technician – Preclinical and Translational Research (Qu Biologics Inc.)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Immunology (Medical College of Wisconsin)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Transplantation Immunology (H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute)

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