Oncology and Immuno-Oncology INSIGHTS


Considerations for Rodent Irradiation

Rodent irradiation is an important tool in immunology and oncology rodent studies and has been critical in learning about tumor biology, transplant biology and immune system function. Understanding the biophysical and biological factors involved in irradiation studies is critical for optimizing model performance and improving experimental results. Irradiation preferentially kills rapidly dividing cells, including bone marrow and epithelial cells of the gut and other organs. The most...

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Efficacy Studies in Humanized Mice from AACR 2017

Mice engrafted with a human immune system — HIS or humanized mice — have secured important roles as efficacy models in the immuno-oncology therapeutic development pipeline. Several impressive examples of efficacy studies in humanized mice were on display at the 2017 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) meeting. Efficacy Studies in Humanized Mice at AACR 2017 Upon engraftment of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), super-immunodeficient models,...

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Ali Zahalka Wins AACR 2017 Travel Award

For his work investigating mechanisms connecting SNS-mediated microenvironmental effects to prostate cancer progression, Ali Zahalka was awarded Taconic Biosciences' American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 2017 Annual Meeting Travel Award. "Our lab is interested in identifying factors that promote early-stage cancer progression," Ali told Taconic, "with the aim of developing novel therapeutic interventions." Taconic's 2017 AACR Travel Grant Winner An MD/PhD candidate in the lab of Dr....

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Syngeneic Tumor Model Health Standards

The growth in immuno-oncology research, in which the body's own immune system is recruited to fight a tumor, has prompted a shift in preclinical animal models used for oncology research. While traditional cell line xenografts in immunodeficient models are still widely used, they are generally not appropriate for immuno-oncology studies as they lack critical immune cell types required for immunotherapy efficacy. Immuno-oncology researchers have turned to two...

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Modeling NK Cells in Immuno-Oncology

What do Rituximab, Trastuzumab, and numerous other cancer immunotherapies have in common? Their anti-tumor efficacy involves the potent tumor-killing activity of natural killer (NK) cells. The induction of antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) in NK cells forms the basis for many important ongoing clinical efforts. These efforts are being aided by humanized immune system (HIS) rodent models, which offer an improved in vivo system for translating therapies to...

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World Cancer Day 2017

Cancer kills 8.2 million people every year, 4 million of whom die prematurely. Advancing the state of cancer research to prevent or mitigate this suffering is a worthy challenge for the global biosciences community. February 4 is World Cancer Day, dedicated to "awareness and education about the disease, pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action". Today, we want to recognize the contributions of those...

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Combination Immunotherapy Research with Syngeneic Tumor Models

In combination immunotherapy research, the goal is to coach multiple aspects of the body's own immune system to recognize and destroy cancerous cells. This strategy holds the promise of treating advanced tumors and keeping them at bay, with better responses and fewer side effects compared to more traditional chemotherapies. This has involved a paradigm shift in how scientists approach cancer research. For decades, the field has been...

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Using HLA Transgenic Mice to Investigate Novel T Cell Therapies

Recent clinical successes in immuno-oncology, coupled with developments in genetically engineered mouse models, are driving interest in utilizing new aspects of immune cell biology for drug discovery. One promising class of cell-based treatments is Chimeric Antigen Receptor T (CAR-T) cell therapies, which take advantage of fundamental mechanisms of immune cell biology to develop novel, tumor-killing T cell therapies. T cell receptors (TCRs) are the antigen recognition machinery...

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Big Week for Immuno-Oncology Therapeutics

We've heard a lot about immune checkpoint inhibitor drugs in the news this week. Most notably, Merck & Co., Inc. (Merck) shared two major announcements involving their anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody, Keytruda®. First, in a press release on October 21st, Merck announced the stoppage of a Phase III clinical trial for bladder cancer. Covering the announcement, BioSpace Online reported that "early results were so positive that the DMC...

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When Are Nude Rats Better?

Researchers have a wide range of immunodeficient mouse models from which to choose a suitable experimental host, including nudes, scids, Rag2 knockouts, and super immunodeficient models such as the CIEA NOG mouse®. Each model offers different strengths and weaknesses, but one commonality is that they are all commonly used to host xenografts. With such a wide range of mouse models, why would you need an immunodeficient rat?...

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