MAJORITY OF CANCER PATIENTS WITH COVID-19 HAVE SIMILAR IMMUNE RESPONSE TO PEOPLE WITHOUT CANCER

Most people with cancer who are infected by the novel coronavirus produce antibodies at a rate comparable to the rest of the population—but their ability to do so depends on their type of cancer and the treatments they’ve received, according to a new study by researchers at Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The findings, published online today in Nature Cancer, may lead to better care for cancer patients, who face a heightened risk of dying from COVID-19, and suggests that cancer patients should respond well to COVID-19 vaccines.

Read more

New Study Shows How Mutations in SARS-CoV-2 Allow the Virus to Evade Immune System Defenses

Research reveals how mutated SARS-CoV-2 evades immune system defenses

In lab-dish experiments, the mutant virus escaped antibodies from the plasma of

COVID-19 survivors as well as pharmaceutical-grade antibodies

Mutations arose in an immunocompromised patient with chronic SARS-CoV-2 infection

Patient-derived virus harbored structural changes now seen cropping up independently in samples across the globe

Findings underscore the need for better genomic surveillance to keep track of emerging variants

Results highlight importance of therapies aimed at multiple targets on SARS-CoV-2 to minimize risk of resistance

Read more

Research finds people diagnosed with HIV in New York State were more than twice as likely to die from COVID-19

New research out of the University at Albany and the AIDS Institute at the New York State Department of Health found that through the middle of 2020, people diagnosed with HIV infection were significantly more likely to contract, be hospitalized with and die from COVID-19.

Read more

New study to probe how diet and metabolism influence the immune system

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Feb. 3, 2021) — A pair of scientists from Van Andel Institute and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases have been granted a three-year, $1.5 million Allen Distinguished Investigator award from The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, a division of the Allen Institute, to better understand how diet and metabolism influence the immune system’s ability to fight off threats such as infections.

Read more

Missing Protein Helps Small Cell Lung Cancer Evade Immune Defenses

DALLAS – Jan. 25, 2021 – Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) cells are missing a surface protein that triggers an immune response, allowing them to hide from one of the body’s key cancer defenses, a new study led by UT Southwestern researchers suggests. The findings, reported online today in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, could lead to new treatments for SCLC, which has no effective therapies.

Read more

Antibiotics for C-sections Effective After Umbilical Cord Clamped

Antibiotics for cesarean section births are just as effective when they’re given after the umbilical cord is clamped as before clamping – the current practice – and could benefit newborns’ developing microbiomes, according to Rutgers co-authored research. The study, by far the largest of its kind and published in the journal Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control, challenges current recommendations for antibiotic use. Administering antibiotics after clamping does not increase the risk of infection at the site of C-section incisions, the study concludes.

Read more

Research News Tip Sheet: Story Ideas From Johns Hopkins Medicine

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Johns Hopkins Medicine Media Relations is focused on disseminating current, accurate and useful information to the public via the media. As part of that effort, we are distributing our “COVID-19 Tip Sheet: Story Ideas from Johns Hopkins” every other Tuesday.

Read more

UNLV Immunologist on the Differences Between Two Leading COVID-19 Vaccine Candidates

Millions around the world have waited for news about a COVID-19 vaccine, regarding it as the beginning of the end for the global pandemic and a herald for the eventual return to “normal life.” Recent announcements from pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna that their respective late-stage vaccine trials have shown a 90% or better effectiveness rate have received international applause, excitement furthered with estimates that doses could be ready as early as December.

Read more

Study shows protective role sex steroids play in COVID-19

A new paper from a UIC researcher shows evidence that suggests sex steroids may play a role in protecting against COVID-19 symptoms.“Sex and Covid-19: A protective role for reproductive steroids,” by Graziano Pinna, research associate professor in psychiatry, analyzes existing research to look at reasons why COVID-19 symptom severity and mortality are more frequent in men than in women and in older people.

Read more

Study Provides First Evidence of a Relationship between a Bird’s Gut and its Brain

A study of the relationships between cognition and the gut microbiome of captive zebra finches showed that their gut microbiome characteristics were related to performance on a cognitive assay where they learned a novel foraging technique. Researchers also identified potentially critical bacteria that were relatively more abundant in birds that performed better on this assay. This correlation provides some of the first evidence of a relationship between a bird’s gut microbiome and its brain.

Read more

Scientists Engineer New Cancer Immunotherapy to Train Immune System in Cancer Fight

A groundbreaking new type of cancer immunotherapy developed at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai trains the innate immune system to help it eliminate tumor cells through the use of nanobiologics, tiny materials bioengineered from natural molecules that are paired with a therapeutic component, according to a study published in Cell in October.

Read more

Blocking Immune System Pathway May Stop COVID-19 Infection, Prevent Severe Organ Damage

While the world waits eagerly for a safe and effective vaccine to prevent infections from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus behind the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers also are focusing on better understanding how SARS-CoV-2 attacks the body in the search for other means of stopping its devastating impact. The key to one possibility — blocking a protein that enables the virus to turn the immune system against healthy cells — has been identified in a recent study by a team of Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers.

Read more

Supercomputer Calculations Boost Our Understanding of Our Immune System

While researchers around the world race to develop an effective and safe COVID-19 vaccine, a team from the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at UC San Diego contributed to a study led by Vanderbilt Vaccine Center of Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) on T cell receptors, which play a vital role in alerting the adaptive immune system to mount an attack on invading foreign pathogens including the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

Read more

Some Severe COVID-19 Cases Linked to Genetic Mutations or Antibodies that Attack the Body

Two new studies offer an explanation for why COVID-19 cases can be so variable. A subset of patients has mutations in key immunity genes; other patients have auto-antibodies that target the same components of the immune system. Both circumstances could contribute to severe forms of the disease.

Read more

Cancer Research Institute Goes Virtual for Its Immunotherapy Patient Summit Series, Connecting Patients and Caregivers with Leading Experts in Cancer Immunotherapy

Free virtual event October 2-3 connecting cancer patients and caregivers with leading immunotherapy experts and patient advocates treated with immunotherapy

Read more

Strokes in babies are surprisingly common. Here’s how the body rushes to the rescue.

New research is shedding light on the development of the brain’s immune defenses – and how those defenses respond to strokes that strike one in 4,000 babies in the first month of life.

Read more

Bacteria Can Defuse Dangerous Chemical In Passaic River

Bacteria that can help defuse highly toxic dioxin in sediments in the Passaic River – a Superfund hazardous waste site – could eventually aid cleanup efforts at other dioxin-contaminated sites around the world, according to Rutgers scientists. Their research, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, needs further work to realize the full potential of the beneficial bottom-dwelling microbes.

Read more

Research News Tip Sheet: Story Ideas from Johns Hopkins Medicine

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Johns Hopkins Medicine Media Relations is focused on disseminating current, accurate and useful information to the public via the media. As part of that effort, we are distributing our “COVID-19 Tip Sheet: Story Ideas from Johns Hopkins” every Tuesday throughout the duration of the outbreak.

Read more

Researchers Receive NIH Funds for Adjuvant Research to Boost Coronavirus Vaccines

Researchers have received funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, to screen and evaluate certain molecules known as adjuvants that may improve the ability of coronavirus vaccines to stimulate the immune system and generate appropriate responses necessary to protect the general population against the virus.

Read more

In one of America’s rare undergraduate immunology programs, students are ‘preparing for the next pandemic’

UAB’s Undergraduate Immunology Program, one of a handful of immunology majors available in the United States, gives students real lab experience with more than 100 faculty pursuing cutting-edge research.The entire planet, more or less, is fixated on the greatest pandemic in modern memory. Claire Elliott is already preparing for the next one.

Read more

‘Chaperone’ Protein Protection From Autoimmune Diseases in Mice Suggests Same For Humans

Like a parent of teenagers at a party, Mother Nature depends on chaperones to keep one of her charges, the immune system, in line so that it doesn’t mistakenly attack normal cells, tissues and organs in our bodies. A recent study by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers has demonstrated that in mice — and probably humans as well — one biological chaperone may play a key role in protection from such attacks, known as autoimmune responses, which are a hallmark of diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and type 1 diabetes.

Read more

Moffitt Researchers Identify Molecular Pathway That Controls Immunosuppression in Tumors

In a new article published in the journal Immunity, Moffitt Cancer Center researchers reveas how protein-signaling pathways associated with cellular stress processes turn myeloid cells into tumor-promoting players. They also suggest that targeting the PERK protein may be an effective therapeutic approach to reactivate the immune system and boost the effectiveness of immunotherapy.

Read more

Activating immune cells could revitalize the aging brain, study suggests

Researchers at Albany Medical College in New York have discovered that a specific type of immune cell accumulates in older brains, and that activating these cells improves the memory of aged mice. The study, which will be published February 5 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM), suggests that targeting these cells might reduce age-related cognitive decline and combat aging-associated neurodegenerative disease in humans.

Read more