Navigation Links
Promising T cell therapy

This news release is available in German.

The cells of the human immune system are created from special stem cells in the bone marrow. In diseases affecting the bone marrow, such as leukemia, the degenerate cells must be destroyed using radiation or chemotherapy. Subsequently, the hematopoietic system has to be replaced with stem cells from the blood of a healthy donor. Because of the resulting temporary weakening of the immune system, patients are more exposed to viruses that would normally be warded off.

The cytomegalovirus (CMV), which can cause serious damage to lungs or liver in persons with a weakened defense, poses a major clinical problem. In healthy human beings, a CMV infection will usually not produce any symptoms, since the virus is kept at bay by specific immune cells. In their work, the scientists were able to demonstrate that the transfer of just a few specific immune cells is sufficient to protect the recipient with the weakened immune system against infections. To do this, they used T cells that can recognize and kill specific pathogens.

Tested in an animal model

Dr. Christian Stemberger, first author of the study, and his colleagues, first isolated T cells from the blood of healthy donor mice. These immune cells were directed against molecular elements of a bacterial species which normally causes severe infections in animals. The T cells were then transferred to recipient mice that, due to a genetic modification, could no longer produce immune cells of their own similarly to patients suffering from leukemia.

Following the T cell transfer, the researchers infected the treated recipient mice with the bacteria. The results showed that the animals now have effective immune protection against the pathogens, preventing them from becoming ill. "The most astonishing result was that the offspring cells of just one transferred donor cell were enough to completely protect the animals," Christian Stemberger explains.

Successfully used in patients

Finally, the scientists used virus-specific T cells to treat two critically ill patients. Due to a congenital immunodeficiency and leukemia, respectively, stem cell transplants had to be performed on the two patients. Weakened by the procedure, both patients developed CMV infections.

Using a new method, the scientists therefore isolated T cells specifically programmed to target the CMV virus from the blood of the donor and transferred small numbers of these cells to the patients. After only a few weeks, the virus-specific cells proliferated. At the same time, the number of viruses in the blood dropped. "It is a great advantage that even just a few cells can provide protection. This means that the cells can be used for preventive treatment in low doses that are gentler on the organism," Dr. Michael Neuenhahn, last author of the study, explains.

The potential of the identified T cells will now be examined in a clinical study. In addition to an innovative method for cell purification, scientists also have at their disposal a new TUM facility for the sterile manufacture of cell products. In TUMCells, cells can be produced in highly-pure conditions, in so-called clean rooms. In the future, the scientists want to use recent results and TUMCells to develop innovative cell therapies.

Contact: Vera Siegler
Technische Universitaet Muenchen

Related biology news :

1. Promising discovery in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria
2. Penn team identifies promising new target for gum disease treatment
3. New method yields potent, renewable human stem cells with promising therapeutic properties
4. Promising news for solar fuels from Berkeley Lab researchers at JCAP
5. Dartmouth researchers find promising results with local hyperthermia of tumors
6. New biological scaffold offers promising foundation for engineered tissues
7. Caltech-developed method for delivering HIV-fighting antibodies proven even more promising
8. Promising class of antibiotics discovered for treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis
9. Scientists develop promising drug candidates for pain, addiction
10. New gene therapy proves promising as hemophilia treatment
11. T cell immunotherapy: Promising results in children and adults with leukemia
Post Your Comments:
(Date:5/6/2017)... SINGAPORE , May 5, 2017 ... has just announced a new breakthrough in biometric ... that exploits quantum mechanical properties to perform ... new smart semiconductor material created by Ram Group ... across finance, entertainment, transportation, supply chains and security. ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design and Manufacturing event ... emerging and evolving technology through its 3D Printing and ... alongside the expo portion of the event and feature ... focused on trending topics within 3D printing and smart ... event will take place June 13-15, 2017 at the Jacob ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... April 11, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... company, announces the appointment of independent Directors Mr. Robin ... its Board of Directors, furthering the company,s corporate governance and ... Gino Pereira ... look forward to their guidance and benefiting from their considerable ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... USDM ... firm for the life sciences and healthcare industries, announces a presentation by Subbu ... , The presentation, “Automating GxP Validation for Agile Cloud Platforms,” will present a ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... ... The award-winning American Farmer television series will feature 3 Bar Biologics in ... 8:30aET on RFD-TV. , With global population estimates nearing ten billion people by ... feed a growing nation. At the same time, many of our valuable resources are ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... medical journal, Epilepsia, Brain Sentinel’s SPEAC® System which uses the surface electromyography ... generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) using surface electromyography (sEMG). The prospective multicenter phase ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... , Oct. 6, 2017  The 2017 Nobel ... three scientists, Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank ... in cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) have helped ... the structural biology community. The winners worked with ... now routinely produce highly resolved, three-dimensional images of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: