Volume 3.04 | Feb 4

Immune Regulation News 3.04, February 4, 2011.
In this issue: Science News  |  Current Publications  |  Industry News  |  Policy News  |  Events Subscribe  |  Unsubscribe


NIH Researchers Extend Use of Gene Therapy to Treat a Soft Tissue Tumor ShareThis
This study is the first to use genetically modified immune cells, in a technique known as adoptive therapy, to cause cancer regression in patients with a solid cancer as opposed to melanoma. This approach represents a method for obtaining immune cells from any cancer patient and converting them into ones that can recognize cancer cells expressing the target antigen, NY-ESO-1, according to researchers. [Press release from the National Institutes of Health discussing online prepublication in the Journal of Clinical Oncology]


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Primitive Vertebrates with an Adaptive Immune System
A key organ found in our adaptive immune system is more common than previously assumed: Max Planck researchers demonstrate the presence of thymus-like structures in the primitive lamprey. [Press release from the Max Planck Society discussing online prepublication in Nature]

Technion Researchers Discover Way to Reverse Immune System Aging
Researchers have discovered a way to reverse the aging process by removing old B lymphocytes from old mice, and forcing the production of young, potent cells to replace them. [Press release from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology discussing online prepublication in Blood]

Inovio Pharmaceuticals’ Dual-Antigen SynCon(TM) DNA Vaccine for Prostate Cancer Induces Robust Responses in Preclinical Trial
Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced the publication of a scientific paper detailing potent immune responses in a preclinical study of Inovio’s SynCon(TM) DNA vaccine for prostate cancer targeting two antigens. [Press release from Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. discussing online prepublication in Human Vaccine]

A Sun-Triggered Protein Drives Skin Cancer
An unexpected immune protein exacerbates cancer due to sun exposure, report researchers. The study suggests that drugs blocking the protein might halt tumor growth in skin cancer patients. [Press release from Newswise discussing online prepublication in Nature]

Interleukin (IL)-12 Secretion Can Predict Potency of Argos Therapeutics´ Arcelis™ Dendritic Cell (DC) Immunotherapy and Can Be Used as Potency Marker in Phase 3 Clinical Trial
In vitro results demonstrate that the potency of mature CD40L RNA electroporated DCs correlates with IL-12 secretion by tracking the multifunctional CD8(+)/CD28(+) memory T-cell responses. [Press release from Argos Therapeutics discussing online prepublication in the Journal of Immunotherapy]

Data Published in Science Translational Medicine Point to Role of Cellular Bioenergetics as a New Mechanistic Approach to Treat Immune Disorders
Lycera Corporation announced positive data from the University of Michigan demonstrating the role of bioenergetics in selectively inhibiting pathogenic lymphocytes while preserving and enhancing the normal immune system. [Press release from Lycera Corporation discussing online prepublication in Science Translational Medicine]

Research Suggests HIV Causes Rapid Aging in Key Infection-Fighting Cells
Research shows that HIV causes a specific subset of CD4+ helper T-cells to age rapidly, by as much as 20 to 30 years over a three-year period. [Press release from University of California, Los Angeles discussing online prepublication in PLoS ONE]

New Anti-HIV Gene Therapy Makes T-Cells Resistant to HIV Infection
An innovative genetic strategy for rendering T-cells resistant to HIV infection without affecting their normal growth and activity is described. [Press release from ScienceDaily discussing online prepublication in Human Gene Therapy]

Enzyme that Helps Immune System May Also Promote Cancer Cells
Researchers describe how one enzyme that promotes class switching-good for the immune response-also causes hundreds of DNA breaks throughout a gene-bad for keeping cancer-causing oncogenes in check. The culprit is an enzyme called AID, activation-induced cytidine deaminase. [Press release from the University of Massachusetts discussing online prepublication in Molecular Cell]


CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

A Thymus Candidate in Lampreys
Here researchers identify discrete thymus-like lympho-epithelial structures, termed thymoids, in the tips of the gill filaments and the neighbouring secondary lamellae (both within the gill basket) of lamprey larvae. [Nature]

Interferon-Gamma Links Ultraviolet Radiation to Melanomagenesis in Mice
Here researchers introduce a mouse model permitting fluorescence-aided melanocyte imaging and isolation following in vivo UV irradiation. Researchers use expression profiling to show that activated neonatal skin melanocytes isolated following a melanomagenic UVB dose bear a distinct, persistent interferon response signature, including genes associated with immunoevasion. [Nature]

Tumor Regression in Patients With Metastatic Synovial Cell Sarcoma and Melanoma Using Genetically Engineered Lymphocytes Reactive With NY-ESO-1
The current trial was carried out to evaluate the ability of adoptively transferred autologous T cells transduced with a T-cell receptor directed against NY-ESO-1 to mediate tumor regression in patients with metastatic melanoma and synovial cell sarcoma. [J Clin Oncol]

Activation-Induced Cytidine Deaminase Induces Reproducible DNA Breaks at Many Non-Ig Loci in Activated B Cells
Using a nonbiased genome-wide approach, researchers have identified hundreds of reproducible, activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID)-dependent double-strand DNA breaks in mouse splenic B cells shortly after induction of antibody class switch recombination in culture. [Mol Cell]

B Cell Depletion Reactivates B Lymphopoiesis in the BM and Rejuvenates the B Lineage in Aging
Researchers show here that age-related changes in the B lineage are mediated by the accumulating long-lived B cells. [Blood]

The Dual Impact of HIV-1 Infection and Aging on Naïve CD4+ T-Cells: Additive and Distinct Patterns of Impairment
As naïve T-cells are critically important in responses to neoantigens, researchers first analyzed two subsets (CD45RA+CD31+ and CD45RA+CD31-) within the naïve CD4+ T-cell compartment in young (20-32 years old) and older (39-58 years old), antiretroviral therapy-naïve, HIV-1 seropositive individuals within 1-3 years of infection and in age-matched seronegative controls. [PLoS ONE]

Acquisition of HIV-1 Resistance in T Lymphocytes Using an ACA-Specific E. coli mRNA Interferase
Here researchers take a genetic approach to suppress HIV-1 replication based on Tat-dependent production of MazF, an ACA-specific endoribonuclease (mRNA interferase) from Escherichia coli (E. coli). [Hum Gene Ther]

Potency of Mature CD40L RNA Electroporated Dendritic Cells Correlates With IL-12 Secretion by Tracking Multifunctional CD8+/CD28+ Cytotoxic T-cell Responses
In vitro results presented herein reveal a correlation between the priming of CD28+ antigen-reactive effector memory cytotoxic T lymphocytes displaying 3 or 4 simultaneous effector functions and the quantity of IL-12 produced by postmaturation electroporation-CD40L dendritic cells. [J Immunother]

Co-Delivery of PSA and PSMA DNA Vaccines With Electroporation Induces Potent Immune Responses
Scientists sought to test the hypothesis that a broader collection of antigens would improve the breadth and effectiveness of a prostate cancer (PCa) immune therapy approach. They developed highly optimized DNA vaccines encoding prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) as a dual antigen approach to immune therapy of PCa. [Hum Vaccin]

Manipulating the Bioenergetics of Alloreactive T Cells Causes Their Selective Apoptosis and Arrests Graft-Versus-Host Disease
Investigators found that bone marrow (BM) cells proliferating after BM transplantation increased aerobic glycolysis but not oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), whereas T cells proliferating in response to alloantigens during graft-versus-host disease increased both aerobic glycolysis and OXPHOS. [Sci Trans Med]


Apeiron Acquires Rights for a Phase II Biologic Against Neuroblastoma and Other Cancers from Merck KGaA, Germany
Vienna-based biotech company Apeiron Biologics AG strengthens its cancer immunotherapy portfolio by acquiring rights to further develop and commercialize the immunocytokine hu14.18-IL2 from Merck KGaA, Germany. [Apeiron Biologics AG Press Release]
ImaginAb, Inc. and Eurogentec S.A. Collaborate to Produce Antibody Fragments in Pichia
ImaginAb, Inc. and Eurogentec S.A. announce a development collaboration to establish a novel system for producing engineered antibody fragments. [ImaginAb, Inc. Press Release]

MorphoSys Reaches Clinical Milestone with Pfizer
MorphoSys AG announced that it has received a milestone payment from Pfizer in connection with the IND filing in December 2010 and subsequent initiation of a phase 1 clinical trial of a HuCAL-derived, fully human antibody in the therapeutic area of oncology. [MorphoSys AG Press Release]


National Institutes of Health (United States)

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)


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Assistant Professor (University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Center for Cellular and Molecular Engineering)

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