Scientists at BC Children’s Hospital and the University of British Columbia have developed a gene therapy that programs a type of immune cell called T regulatory cells (Tregs) to protect transplanted tissues from rejection by the patient’s immune system.
The proof-of-concept study is published today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation print issue.
“With further research, Tregs could be given as a living drug to prevent immune attack of transplanted cells and organs,” says Dr. Megan Levings, the study’s principal investigator.
Dr. Levings is a scientist at the Child & Family Research Institute (CFRI) at BC Children’s Hospital where she leads the Childhood Diseases research theme, and she is a professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of British Columbia (UBC).
“This exciting discovery is the first step towards testing these cells in humans undergoing transplantation,” says Dr. Levings.
After transplantation, the patient’s body sometimes identifies the transplanted tissue as foreign and mounts an immune attack against it. For this reason, most transplant patients must take immune-suppressing medications for the rest of their lives.
In 2014, there were 2,433 solid organs transplanted in Canada and from 2010-2015, there were 52 pediatric solid organ transplants performed in British Columbia.
For this study, the scientists removed Tregs from blood donated by volunteers to the Canadian Blood Services. The scientists built a gene that makes a protein called CAR (chimeric antigen receptor). They used a harmless virus to insert the CAR gene into Tregs, which programmed the cells to recognize specific proteins commonly found on the surface of transplanted tissues. The normal role of Tregs is to turn off the immune response and prevent an immune response to healthy tissues. The scientists did a series of experiments that proved the modified Tregs could recognize transplanted tissues and protect them from the immune system.
A related concept is used in a type of cancer treatment called immunotherapy where the patient’s own immune cells are genetically programmed with the CAR gene to mount an immune response against tumour cells.
“We took this approach from cancer immunotherapy and we used it for the opposite purpose – to turn off unwanted immune responses,” says Dr. Levings.
“It’s a whole new age in medicine, and we’re doing cutting edge work right here in BC,” says Dr. Katherine MacDonald, the study’s first author. The research was the basis of Dr. MacDonald’s doctoral thesis while she was a UBC trainee supervised by Dr. Levings at CFRI.
“With this finding, it opens up the possibility to build a gene for any disease where the immune system is overactive,” says Dr. MacDonald.
This includes autoimmune diseases, which develop when the immune system destroys healthy tissues such as the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas in Type 1 diabetes or cells of the intestinal lining in inflammatory bowel disease.
The researchers say a decade of further work is needed to develop safe and targeted treatments using modified Tregs.
The Latest on: Transplant rejection
via Google News
The Latest on: Transplant rejection
- Kidney Transplant Rejection Therapeutics Market New Developments, Treatment Methodology and Clinical Reviews 2019on November 28, 2019 at 2:06 am
Nov 28, 2019 (Market Insight Reports via COMTEX) -- Global Kidney Transplant Rejection Therapeutics Market Size, Status And Forecast 2019-2025 The report titled "Kidney Transplant Rejection ...
- Research Finds Kidney Transplant Successfully Improves Survival Rates in People with Lupus Nephritison November 26, 2019 at 7:25 am
Results were also encouraging five years after transplantation with a survival rate of about 93%. Poor kidney outcomes (e.g., return to dialysis, transplant rejection, transplant removal, etc.) were ...
- Analysis by U.K. startup Medbelle highlights extent of drug pricing disparityon November 21, 2019 at 3:58 pm
Taken overall, the U.S price of the 13 drugs is 306% higher than the median. The one drug that does not cost most in the U.S. is Prograf (tacrolimus), for preventing transplant rejection, which is ...
- KidneyTalk™ interview: Understanding and Preventing Transplant Rejection with Stanley C. Jordan, MDon November 6, 2019 at 6:40 am
From the beginning of his career, he was fascinated by immunology research and wanted to understand how it could be applied to problems with transplant rejection. In this episode of KidneyTalk, Dr.
- Woman dies as body rejects Queen Elizabeth Hospital heart transplant years after surgeryon November 5, 2019 at 4:00 pm
The 50-year-old initially had a pacemaker fitted, but had a whole heart transplant at the QE. The surgery was described as "entirely successful". Roughly 18 months later there was an issue with the ...
- myTAIHEART Blood Test and Biopsy of Heart Transplant Recipientson November 1, 2019 at 9:31 pm
Transplant rejection is a process where the immune system of the patient consider the donor's organ as foreign and rejects them. The patient's immune system detects the antigens on the cells of the ...
- Transplant Genomics, Inc. Founders Awarded US Patent Covering Detection of "Silent" Sub-Clinical Rejection in Stable Kidney Transplant Recipientson October 28, 2019 at 5:00 pm
Entitled "Gene expression profiles associated with sub-clinical kidney transplant rejection," US Patent No. 10,443,100 is assigned to The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and Northwestern University ...
- MYOFIBROBLAST INVOLVEMENT IN CHRONIC TRANSPLANT REJECTIONon October 26, 2019 at 5:00 pm
Background. Chronic rejection remains the major cause of late graft failure. We studied the renal tissue of 10 renal transplant patients with chronic rejection in whom biopsies had been performed at ...
- Kidney Transplant Rejection Therapeutics Market Latest In-Depth Report Segment by Manufacturers, Type, Applications and Dynamicson September 20, 2019 at 5:28 am
Sep 20, 2019 (Garth Media via COMTEX) -- This report studies Kidney Transplant Rejection Therapeutics in Global market, especially in North America, China, Europe, Southeast Asia, Japan and India, ...
via Bing News