COVID-19 Immunotherapy Collab at UGA with Biotech Firm CEL-SCI to Fight Coronavirus

CEL-SCI’s immunotherapy candidate aims to treat patients at highest risk of dying from COVID-19. LEAPS immunotherapy has been used in collaboration with the National Institutes for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) against another respiratory virus, H1N1, involved in the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic. Those successful studies demonstrated that LEAPS peptides, given after virus infection has occurred, reduced morbidity and mortality in mice infected with H1N1.

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Gut bacteria can penetrate tumors and aid cancer therapy, study suggests

Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and University of Chicago have discovered that bacteria that usually live in the gut can accumulate in tumors and improve the effectiveness of immunotherapy in mice. The study, which will be published March 6 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM), suggests that treating cancer patients with Bifidobacteria might boost their response to CD47 immunotherapy, a wide-ranging anti-cancer treatment that is currently being evaluated in several clinical trials.

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Pre-operative immunotherapy triggers encouraging response in oral cancers

A new clinical trial suggests that immunotherapy given before other treatments for oral cavity cancers can elicit an immune response that shrinks tumors, which could provide long-term benefit for patients. In the randomized trial, two neoadjuvant doses of nivolumab given with or without ipilimumab led to complete or partial tumor shrinkage in most cases and did not delay any patients from continuing on to standard treatment. Findings will be presented at the 2020 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancers Symposium.

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Radiation/immunotherapy combo shows promise for recurrent/metastatic head and neck cancers

A new phase II trial finds that a combination of radiation therapy and immunotherapy led to encouraging survival outcomes and acceptable toxicity for patients with locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). The combination of radiation and pembrolizumab may offer a new treatment option for patients who are ineligible for cisplatin chemotherapy, part of standard treatment for the disease. Findings will be presented at the 2020 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancers Symposium.

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Nanosize Device ‘Uncloaks’ Cancer Cells in Mice And Reveals Them to The Immune System

Scientists at Johns Hopkins report they have designed and successfully tested an experimental, super small package able to deliver molecular signals that tag implanted human cancer cells in mice and make them visible for destruction by the animals’ immune systems. The new method was developed, say the researchers, to deliver an immune system “uncloaking” device directly to cancer cells.

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