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Bart Starr, the 81-year-old former Packers quarterback, has undergone experimental stem cell treatments after suffering a heart attack and two strokes last year. Starr has been having the experimental treatments in Tijuana after suffering a heart attack and two strokes last year. Immunotherapy is a science that uses parts of the immune system to treat diseases, including different kinds of cancer.
At this time, immunotherapy for mesothelioma is passive and involves targeted immunotherapies that seek out one particular kind of cell or antigen rather than stimulating the entire immune system. Immunotherapy also includes the use of cancer vaccines to either prevent the disease or eradicate an already existing cancer. While only a handful of immunotherapy drugs have been granted approval by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA), many more are currently in clinical trials to determine what impact they may have in stimulating the human body’s immune system to fight cancer. In this microscopic image, brain cells from adult mice are shown expressing the protein Olig2 (shown in red). Researchers report in the journal Cancer Cell an experimental therapy that in laboratory tests on human cells and mouse models stops aggressive, treatment-resistant and deadly brain cancers called glioblastoma and high-grade gliomas. A multi-institutional team led by researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center publishes their results on May 9. Testing a multi-step therapeutic strategy, the scientists found a way to use a gene therapy to shut down a gene long-implicated in the formation of high-grade gliomas called Olig2. The current study may apply to high-grade brain gliomas and a fatal brainstem tumor called DIPG (Diffused Intrinsic Pontine Glioma), which expresses Olig2 and is inoperable because of its location in a brain region controlling vital functions.
Researchers caution the experimental therapeutic approach they describe requires extensive additional research and remains years away from possible clinical testing. The cancers form from precursors of supporting brain cells called oligodendrocytes, which help generate insulation for neural connections. Olig2 contributes to the transformation of normal precursor cells into abnormal malignant cells that divide uncontrollably.
Researchers then decided to eliminate Olig2-positive dividing cells during tumor formation. Researchers also found that after Olig2 was inhibited, the forming brain cancer cells switched directions and molecular composition- going from the cells resembling oligodendrocyte precursors to assume astrocyte-like brain cell characteristics.


EGFR is a common and effective target for chemotherapy drugs used clinically to treat tumors such as breast cancers. Funding support for the study came in part from the National Institutes of Health (R01NS078092, R01NS075243).
Fanghui Lu, Ying Chen, Chuntao Zhao, Haibo Wang, Danyang He, Lingli Xu, Jincheng Wang, Xuelian He, Yaqi Deng, Ellen E. USA Today reports the latest treatment involved inserting neural stem cells through Starr's spine. Currently, immunotherapy use for the treatment of mesothelioma is still in the clinical trial phases for the most part, so most patients who want to try it out will need to apply for the trials to determine if they qualify.
Currently, two preventive vaccines have been approved by the FDA but no treatment vaccines for cancer are approved for use in the U.S. This blockade mechanism is believed to stimulate the body’s immune system response against cancer cells which may prove to be a promising treatment for certain types of cancers. Researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center report May 9 in Cancer Cell that Olig2 contributes to the transformation of normal brain precursor cells into abnormal malignant cells that divide uncontrollably. In the context of cancer cell formation, the researchers saw Olig2 drive molecular processes that allow forming glioma cells to be highly adaptable and susceptible to the tumor-promoting effects of additional genetic changes. To use an approach more rapidly translatable from the laboratory bench to clinical bedside, they successfully tested a gene therapy that uses an engineered herpes simplex virus (viral vector) to deliver a suicide gene into replicating Olig2-positive cancer cells. They continued to form tumors, however these newly formed astrocyte-like brain cancer cells produce the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene at high levels.
In repeated tests in mouse models, Olig2 inhibition prompted the glioma-forming cells to transform into EGFR-expressing astrocyte-like cells. Lu said that with additional testing, verification and refinement the experimental therapy could be especially helpful in preventing a recurrence of brain cancer in patients who have undergone an initial round of successful treatment. The mouse models are engineered to grow brain tumors derived from the tumor cells of specific patients whose families have donated biopsy samples for research.
He wants to be on hand when another Packers MVP quarterback, Brett Favre, has his jersey number retired at halftime. Adversely, "passive" immunotherapy involves man-made immune system proteins that are manufactured in a lab and are given to the patient to make up for what the body's existing immune system is lacking.


However, a group of Dutch doctors recently reported that they've developed the first treatment vaccine for mesothelioma and reported their findings in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Already approved for the treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma, and having been granted accelerated approval to treat patients with advanced (metastatic) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose disease has progressed after other treatments, this immunotherapy treatment is currently being tested on more than 30 different cancer types in over 130 clinical trials worldwide–—including a Phase II study in the U.S. Prior results do not predict a similar outcome.Please read our disclaimer for more information. They also show that Olig2 is the molecular arbiter of genetic adaptability that makes high-grade gliomas aggressive and treatment resistant.
Removing the Olig2 gene halts tumor growth, while elimination of Olig2-producing cells blocks tumor formation. Through extensive analysis of human brain cancer cells and mouse models, the researchers observed Olig2 expression in early-stage dividing and replicating cells in tumors. Then, in subsequent and repeated testing on the transformed human and mouse model astrocyte-like cancer cells, the researchers treated the cells with an EGFR-targeted chemotherapy drug called gefitinib. He added the new treatment approach would likely be used in combination with other existing therapies like radiation, surgery, other chemotherapies and targeted molecular treatments.
This allows researchers to test different targeted drugs in their therapeutic protocol that may best match the genetic makeup of tumors from specific individuals.
Allison's early research began with the study of T-cell activation, T-cell receptors, and the exploration of ways by which the human body's immune system could be triggered.
The Dutch vaccine uses tumor lysate-pulsed dendritic cells to stimulate the immune system of mesothelioma sufferers. Any unauthorized or illegal use, copying or dissemination will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Allison's research evolved into his discovery that by using therapeutic antibodies to block negative immune regulators, commonly referred to as checkpoints, the immune system of the human body could react against cancer cells.
While there is still much to be learned about the cancer-fighting potential of immunotherapy, current clinical outcomes are promising and have heralded this type of therapy as one of the most advanced developments to surface in cancer treatment in recent years.



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