Tertiary lymphoid structures (TLS) are lymph node-like structures that form at sites of inflammation, and their presence in cancer patients is predictive of a better clinical outcome. One significant obstacle to TLS formation is reduced immune cell infiltration into the tumor microenvironment (TME). Recent studies have shown that vasculature normalizing (VN) agents may override this defect to improve tissue perfusion and increased immune cell entry into the TME. However, their effects on immune cell and tumor cell phenotype remain understudied. Here the authors investigate whether treating tumor cells with VN would reduce their immunosuppressive phenotype and promote production of chemokine that recruit immune cells and foster TLS formation.
Some spices have antimicrobial or antibacterial properties that people have already tested. Turmeric has a wide variety of uses and has even been implemented in alternative medicine as a treatment for cancer, inflammation, osteoarthritis, and other diseases. We tested the antimicrobial effects of turmeric under two different pHs to characterize this effect in vitro. Decreasing the pH of a solution of turmeric may increase antibacterial properties.
Sound waves can be amazingly powerful, especially when they work together. Here the authors create an “acoustic lens” that focuses sound waves on a single location. This makes the sound waves very powerful, capable of causing damage at a precise point. In the future, acoustic lenses like this could potentially be used to treat cancer by killing small tumors without surgery.
In the United States, there are currently 17.8 million affected by atopic dermatitis (AD), commonly known as eczema. It is characterized by itching and skin inflammation. AD patients are at higher risk for infections, depression, cancer, and suicide. Genetics, environment, and stress are some of the causes of the disease. With the rise of personalized medicine and the acceptance of gene-editing technologies, AD-related variations need to be identified for treatment. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have associated the Filaggrin (FLG) gene with AD but have not identified specific problematic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). This research aimed to refine known SNPs of FLG for gene editing technologies to establish a causal link between specific SNPs and the diseases and to target the polymorphisms. The research utilized R and its Bioconductor packages to refine data from the National Center for Biotechnology Information's (NCBI's) Variation Viewer. The algorithm filtered the dataset by coding regions and conserved domains. The algorithm also removed synonymous variations and treated non-synonymous, frameshift, and nonsense separately. The non-synonymous variations were refined and ordered by the BLOSUM62 substitution matrix. Overall, the analysis removed 96.65% of data, which was redundant or not the focus of the research and ordered the remaining relevant data by impact. The code for the project can also be repurposed as a tool for other diseases. The research can help solve GWAS's imprecise identification challenge. This research is the first step in providing the refined databases required for gene-editing treatment.
In this study, the authors characterized the trends of cigarette use amongst people who do and don't use electronic nicotine delivery systems (or ENDS). This was done to help determine if the use of ENDS is aiding in helping smokers quit, as the data on this has been controversial. They found that use of ENDS among people either with or without previous cigarette usage were more likely to continue using cigarettes in the future. This is important information contributing to our understanding of ways to effectively (and not effectively) reduce cigarette use.
In this study, the authors investigated the time-dependent cytokine secretion ability of phyto-hemagglutinin (PHA)-activated T cells derived from human peripheral (PB) and cord blood (CB). They hypothesized that the anti-inflammatory cytokine, IL-10, and pro-inflammatory cytokine, TNFα, levels would be higher in PHA-activated T cells obtained from PB as compared to the levels obtained from CB and would decrease over time. Upon PHA-activation, the IL-10 levels were relatively high while the TNFα levels decreased, making these findings applicable in therapeutic treatments e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and organ transplantation.