The human immune system comprises an array of ingenious cellular components and mechanisms that collectively protect us from harmful exogenous pathogens. Harnessing this power to attack and treat cancer is an intense area of research. Understanding why cancer cells normally evade immune surveillance and developing strategies to help the immune system distinguish between tumor cells and healthy tissue may lead to the development of highly efficacious therapies for those afflicted with cancer.
During haematopoiesis in humans, cells of the myeloid lineage are derived from a common myeloid progenitor (CMP) in the bone marrow. This lineage — which includes monocytes, granulocytes, erythrocytes, and platelets — is a primary component of the innate immune system and serves as a first line of defense against infection.
As we touched upon in a previous blog post, the innate immune system is an important part of our bodies’ immune defenses and it provides us with a general protective response against microbial invaders and foreign proteins. This innate immune system is evolutionarily older than our adaptive immune system, with conserved mechanisms seen in plants, animals, and insects, and it is not specialized against any particular pathogen.
Scientists and medical professionals have been studying what makes us sick and the myriad mechanisms the body uses to respond to illness for hundreds of years. Some of these mechanisms are quite simple and some are elegantly complex. In this first installment of the Immunology blog series we will review the different strategies the immune system employs to keep diseases at bay.
For decades, immunohistochemistry (IHC) has been a powerful technique for the investigation and visualization of cellular components in their native histological context. IHC has served as an important tool in medicine – enabling the diagnosis of complex pathological conditions – and in basic research to advance the understanding of key biological processes.
Although the rise of cancer immunotherapy may seem meteoric to many, the history goes back over 100 years to William B. Coley, often referred to as the father of immunotherapy.
In recent years, immune checkpoint proteins in the tumor microenvironment have been under intense study. If you work in the immuno-oncology field, chances are you are either performing multiplex IHC (mIHC) or would like to. Ultimately, a multiplexed image like the one featured here provides a multi-layered depiction of a tumor, such that each antibody corresponds to a different fluorescent signal. If you want to detect more targets in your IHC, but aren’t sure how to design a panel of antibodies and fluorophores for mIHC, we’ll walk you through the process in this post.
Research trends in macrophage plasticity
It’s an exciting time for immuno-oncology research, as potential predictive biomarkers from an expanding collection of cell types are being pursued. Explore the plasticity of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and challenges in distinguishing M1- versus M2- functional states in this 5-minute video featuring CST Developmental Scientist Sarah Klein, PhD.
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Multiple myeloma (MM) is a type of hematopoietic malignancy characterized, in part, by bone pain, anemia, kidney failure, and recurring infections. The underlying mechanism that drives the disease is abnormal proliferation and accumulation of malignant plasma cells in the bone marrow that secrete large amounts of abnormal antibodies.