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Therapeutic Technology and Methodology / Therapy / Immunotherapy / Immunomodulatory Therapy

Targeting VEGF/VEGFR in the Treatment of Psoriasis

Abstract: Psoriasis is a common chronic skin disorder characterized by cutaneous inflammation and keratinocyte hyperproliferation. In the past decade, a number of novel effective biological agents have been developed to treat moderate-to-severe psoriasis. However, these drugs have potential serious side effects, particularly the development of infectious diseases. Therefore there is still a need for new therapies with better efficacy and less adverse effects. Angiogenesis is implicated in various pathological conditions including psoriasis. Direct targeting of angiogenesis becomes a new therapeutic strategy for the treatment of psoriasis. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), the most critical angiogenic factor, is thought to play important roles during the pathogenesis of psoriasis and may be a promising target for treating psoriasis. Therefore, we proposed that targeting VEGF/VEGFRs could lead to new treatments for psoriasis. ... Read more

Novel Therapeutic Approaches for Celiac Disease

Abstract: Celiac disease (CD), which mainly affects the small intestine, is the only systemic autoimmune disorder with an identified environmental trigger which is dietary gluten. Lifelong adherence to a strict gluten free diet (GFD) is currently the only accepted treatment. CD is increasingly diagnosed and the GFD is known to be associated with a large treatment burden. Furthermore, a substantial number of CD patients show an incomplete clinical response to the GFD. These factors have led to demands for the development and testing of novel, non-dietary, therapeutic agents that are both safe and effective. CD pathogenesis is well elucidated which has greatly aided targeted drug development. Compounds currently being tested in phase II clinical trials include glutenase enzymes (to detoxify gluten) and a tight junction modulator (to reduce access of gluten peptides to lamina propria antigen presenting cells). Other promising approaches include inhibition of the transglutaminase 2 enzyme, blocking antigen presentation by HLA-DQ2 or HLA-DQ8, induction of tolerance, and modulation of the inflammatory response. It is hoped that non-dietary therapy for CD will become available in the coming years and can both reduce the burden of treatment of CD and help patients whose symptoms do not respond completely to the GFD. ... Read more

Inflammatory Disease and the Human Microbiome

Abstract: The human body is a superorganism in which thousands of microbial genomes continually interact with the human genome. A range of physical and neurological inflammatory diseases are now associated with shifts in microbiome composition. Seemingly disparate inflammatory conditions may arise from similar disruption of microbiome homeostasis. Intracellular pathogens long associated with inflammatory disease are able to slow the innate immune response by dysregulating activity of the VDR nuclear receptor. This facilitates the ability of other species to gradually accumulate in tissue and blood, where they generate proteins and metabolites that significantly interfere with the body’s metabolic processes. The microbes that contribute to this dysfunction are often inherited from family members. Immunosuppressive therapies for inflammatory disease allow pathogens driving these processes to spread with greater ease. In contrast to immunosuppression, treatments that stimulate the immune system seem to allow for reversal of this pathogen-induced genomic dysregulation. ... Read more

Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Based Therapy for Type 1 Diabetes

Abstract: Diabetes has increasingly become a worldwide health problem, causing huge burden on healthcare system and economy. Type 1 diabetes (T1D), traditionally termed "juvenile diabetes" because of an early onset age, is affecting 5~10% of total diabetic population. Insulin injection, the predominant treatment for T1D, is effective to ameliorate the hyperglycemia but incompetent to relieve the autoimmunity and to regenerate lost islets. Islet transplantation, an experimental treatment for T1D, also suffers from limited supply of human islets and poor immunosuppression. The recent progress in regenerative medicine, especially stem cell therapy, has suggested several novel and potential cures for T1D. Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) based cell therapy is among one of them. MSCs are a type of adult stem cells residing in bone marrow, adipose tissue, umbilical cord blood, and many other tissues. MSCs, with self-renewal potential and transdifferentiation capability, can be expanded in vitro and directed to various cell lineages with relatively less efforts. MSCs have well-characterized hypoimmunogenicity and immunomodulatory effect. All these features make MSCs attractive for treating T1D. Here, we review the properties of MSCs and some of the recent progress using MSCs as a new therapeutic in the treatment of T1D. We also discuss the strength and limitations of using MSC therapy in human trials. ... Read more

Therapeutic Strategies for the Treatment of Multiple Myeloma

Abstract: The outcome of patients with myeloma has improved significantly in the past decade with the incorporation of the immunomodulatory drugs thalidomide and lenalidomide and the proteasome inhibitor, bortezomib. Considering nearly all patients relapse, myeloma remains an active area of investigation. There are several promising classes of agents including next generation immunomodulatory agents, proteasome inhibitors, antibody and antitumor immunotherapy approaches that are being evaluated. This article provides an overview on the therapeutic strategies in the treatment of multiple myeloma. ... Read more

Polyphenols Inhibit Indoleamine 3,5-Dioxygenase-1 Enzymatic Activity -- A Role of Immunomodulation in Chemoprevention

Abstract: Metastasis is one of the cancer hallmarks described by Hanahan and Weinberg. Emerging evidence shows that it requires interplays between cancer cells and micro-environmental biofactors. Indoleamine 3,5-dioxygenase-1 (IDO-1) produced by cancer, local lymph nodes, and satellite cells have been demonstrated as one of the biofactors. Aberrant IDO-1 activity has partially contributed to immunosuppressive environment by repressing T lymphocyte and natural killer cell activities, and activating regulatory T cells (Treg, CD4+CD25+). Clinical investigations further show a negative correlation between the enzyme activity and prognosis in patients with various cancer types. The findings suggest a possible role of IDO-1 inhibitor in restoring host anti-tumor immunity and attenuating cancer metastasis. Data from preclinical and phase I/II clinical studies with IDO-1 inhibitors support this hypothesis. Polyphenols as antioxidants are shown to exhibit anticancer activities. However, the underlying mechanism has not been entirely characterized. We recently found that certain flavone molecules profoundly inhibit the enzymatic activity of IDO-1 but not mRNA expression in human neuronal stem cells (hNSC) confirmed by cell-based assay and qRT-PCR. To further the investigation, we studied additional anti-cancer phytochemicals including chalcone, flavonol, isoflavone, and diterpene. Here we summarize the results and show that the inhibitory sensitivity depends on the molecular structure in the following order: apigenin > wogonin > chrysin > biacalein ~ genistein > quercetin. Curcumin and isoliquiritigenin (a chalcone) exhibited toxicity to hNSCs. Although oridonin (a diterpene) showed a null toxicity toward hNSCs, it repressed the enzymatic function only marginally in contrast to its potent cytotoxicity in various cancer cell lines. While the mode of action of the enzyme-polyphenol complex awaits to be investigated, the sensitivity of enzyme inhibition was compared to the anti-proliferative activities toward three cancer cell lines. The IC50s obtained from both sets of the experiments indicate that they are in the vicinity of micromolar concentration with the enzyme inhibition slightly more active. These results suggest that attenuation of immune suppression via inhibition of IDO-1 enzyme activity may be one of the important mechanisms of polyphenols in chemoprevention or combinatorial cancer therapy. ... Read more

T Cell Coinhibition and Immunotherapy in Human Breast Cancer

Abstract: Costimulation and coinhibition generated by the B7 family and their receptor CD28 family have key roles in regulating T lymphocyte activation and tolerance. These pathways are very attractive therapeutic targets for human cancers including breast cancer. Gene polymorphisms of B7x (B7-H4/B7S1), PD-1 (CD279), and CTLA-4 (CD152) are associated with increased risk of developing breast cancer although the underlying mechanisms are unclear. In human breast cancer microenvironment, up-regulation of coinhibitory B7/CD28 members B7x, B7-H3 (CD276), and PD-L1 (B7-H1/CD274) on tumor cells as well as PD-1 and PD-L1 on tumor-infiltrating immune cells are emerging as immune evasion pathways. Chemotherapy can affect the expression of these molecules, and therefore may dampen the immune response against breast cancer. Immunotherapy targeting T cell coinhibition as monotherapy or combined with standard therapies are in early stages of clinical development, but hold great promise for treatment of human breast cancer. ... Read more

Advances in Immunotherapy for Food Allergy

Abstract: Food allergy is a life-threatening allergic disease that is increasing in prevalence with no approved curative therapy. Standard treatment of food allergy is limited to avoidance of the allergen and supportive management of allergic symptoms and anaphylaxis. Current research, however, has been focused on developing therapy that can modify the allergic immune response in both allergen-specific and non-specific methods. This review will provide an overview of these methods including oral immunotherapy, sublingual immunotherapy, epicutaneous immunotherapy, modified food protein vaccines, anti-IgE monoclonal antibody adjuvant therapy, Chinese herbs, and helminth therapy. ... Read more

Advances in the Evaluation and Classification of Chronic Inflammatory Rheumatic Diseases

Abstract: The challenges of diagnosing rheumatic diseases are the high prevalence of certain rheumatic diseases, the existence of orphan disease, and the different pathophysiological backgrounds including infection and autoimmune mechanisms. During recent decades, more and more attention has been drawn to early diagnosis and achievement of full remission. Accordingly, new classification criteria have been developed and more biomarkers introduced into clinical practice. Specific laboratory parameters as well as wider use of functional imaging tools like ultrasound and magnetic resonance further support the early diagnostic process. Besides diagnosis early after disease onset, achievement of remission during follow-up is another important clinical aim of rheumatologists. In parallel with the development of new therapeutic approaches, both quality of life and treatment outcome especially of chronic inflammatory diseases could be improved. Both specific outcome parameters and global disease activity assessments are important to verify treatment goals of (full) remission, and at the same time may also predict response to treatment regimens. ... Read more

Immune Mechanisms in Atherosclerosis and Potential for an Atherosclerosis Vaccine

Abstract: A large body of evidence implicates the immune system in the pathogenesis and modulation of atherosclerosis. Dendritic cells and lymphocytes are among the many components of the immune system that are involved in modulating atherogenesis. This review focuses on the current knowledge of the complex role of the dendritic cells and lymphocytes in atherogenesis and the potential for immune-modulation therapies for atherosclerosis. ... Read more

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