CAR T cells

Overactivating CAR T cells interferes with their ability to fight cancer in mice

Nov 27, 2017

CAR T-cell therapy, in which a patient’s T cells are reprogrammed in the lab to boost their ability to recognize and destroy cancer cells when they are returned to the body, has led to dramatic responses for many patients with certain blood cancers. Not all patients respond to the treatment, however, and many who do eventually relapse. Read more…


Preclinical study shows drug has extreme potency against multidrug-resistant HIV variants

Nov 15, 2017

CCR investigators and colleagues have developed an anti-HIV drug, GRL-142, which at low concentrations block the replication of various wild-type and multidrug-resistant HIV strains. The drug also reaches high concentrations in a rat’s brain, suggesting it may prevent HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. Read more…

Inflammatory cells in mouse brain

Serendipitous discovery in mice links inflammation directly to stroke

Nov 8, 2017

In 30 percent to 40 percent of stroke cases, doctors can’t identify the biological cause. Certain risk factors for stroke, such as smoking and diabetes, cause inflammation. Scientists have long suspected that chronic inflammation can in turn trigger a stroke, but they have not made a direct link. Now, CCR researchers have reported that experiments with mice suggest inflammation alone can lead to stroke. Read more…

Researchers discover promising new targets for treatment of fatty liver disease

Oct 19, 2017

Researchers have identified potential new drug targets for the prevention and treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The new study, which was a collaborative effort between scientists in the Laboratory of Metabolism at CCR and Peking University, was published October 9, 2017, in Nature Medicine. Read more…

Watching the action unfold: New cryo-EM images capture CRISPR’s interaction with target DNA

Oct 5, 2017

Using the Nobel-prize winning technique of cryo-EM, researchers led by CCR Senior Investigator Sriram Subramaniam, Ph.D., have captured a series of highly detailed images of a protein complex belonging to the CRISPR system that can be used by bacteria to recognize and destroy foreign DNA. The images reveal the molecule’s form before and after its interaction with DNA and help illuminate both how the complex functions and how it can be blocked. Read more... 

immune cells attacking cancer cells

CAR T-Cell therapy can lead to long-lasting remissions in patients with lymphoma

Aug 17, 2017

More than three years after treatment, some clinical trial participants who received CAR T-cell therapy for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma remain in remission. These results are reported in a paper in Molecular Therapy by James Kochenderfer, M.D., of CCR's Experimental Transplantation and Immunology Branch. “This raises the possibility that CAR T cells can be curative for diffuse large B cell lymphoma,” Kochenderfer says.

CCR scientists gain new understanding of cellular mechanisms during infection

Aug 14, 2017

A new study published August 10, 2017, in Molecular Cell reveals how changes in the architecture of the nucleus can enable B lymphocytes to spring to action during an immune system attack and help fight infection. The discovery could lead scientists to a better understanding of how some tumor cells, especially blood cancer cells, make similar transitions from a dormant to an active state. Read more. . .

Keeping genome organized creates opportunities for damage

Aug 7, 2017

Packing an entire genome inside the cramped quarters of a cell nucleus can put chromosomes at risk for damage, according to new research led by André Nussenzweig, Ph.D., Chief of CCR’s Laboratory of Genomic Integrity. The findings, reported July 20, 2017, in Cell, suggest that DNA breaks are routinely introduced and then repaired as a cell folds and organizes its genome, and that when repair processes fail, these breaks can give rise to chromosomal abnormalities characteristic of cancer cells. 

New study identifies essential genes for cancer immunotherapy

Aug 7, 2017

Nicholas Restifo, M.D., Senior Investigator in CCR’s Surgery Branch, published a new study in Nature on August 7, 2017, and was featured in an NCI Press Release. This new study identifies genes that are necessary in cancer cells for immunotherapy to work, addressing the problem of why some tumors don’t respond to immunotherapy or respond initially but then stop as tumor cells develop resistance to immunotherapy.

Dr. Restifo said in the press release, “There is a great deal of interest in cancer immunotherapy, especially for patients who have metastatic cancer. The response to immunotherapy can be fantastic, but understanding why some patients don’t respond will help us improve treatments for more patients.”

New study identifies essential genes for cancer immunotherapy
neuroblastoma cells

A protein in neuroblastoma could be a target of immunotoxins or immunotherapy

Jul 27, 2017

A cell surface protein, glycoprotein glypican-2 (GPC2), has been found to be an effective therapeutic target in cell cultures and mouse models that mimic childhood neuroblastoma.  The CCR scientists who made this discovery, reported July 24, 2017, in PNAS, have also produced immunotoxins and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, a type of immunotherapy, that have shown promise against this solid tumor. Read more...