Towards Improved Immunotherapy

Clinical Immunology publishes novel approach that can augment clinical outcomes

Amsterdam, December 1, 2008 – A study published by Elsevier this month in Clinical Immunology, the official journal of the Clinical Immunology Society (CIS), describes a new method that facilitates the induction of a specific type of immune suppressive cells, called ‘regulatory T cells’ for therapeutic use. These immune suppressive cells show great potential for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and improving transplantation outcomes.

Immunotherapy refers to a collection of treatments based upon the concept of modulating the immune system to achieve a prophylactic and/or therapeutic goal. For example, inducing immune suppression could dampen an abnormal immune response in autoimmune diseases or could reduce a normal immune response to prevent rejection of transplanted organs or cells. Regulatory T cells are an important part of the immune system and can play a suppressive role, but naturally occur in low numbers.

Michael Albert and colleagues from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany, describe a unique strategy that facilitates the induction of regulatory T cells ex vivo with subsequent expansion to numbers adequate for immunotherapy. Using an inexpensive, fast and simple high-yield method they generated regulatory T cells from small amounts of peripheral blood which, potentially, could be transferred back into a patient enabling a clinically desired immune suppression.

“Feasible protocols to provide large amounts of regulatory T cells are in great demand”, said Andy Saxon”, the Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Immunology, “this article describes a relative simple but exciting method which can be used in clinical settings such as transplantation”.


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Notes to editors:
M.H. Albert, X-Z. Yu, T. Magg, Ethylenecarbodiimide-coupled allogeneic antigen presenting cells induce human CD4+ regulatory T cells, 2008 Clinical Immunology, 129(3): 381-393.

About CIS
The Clinical Immunology Society (CIS) is an international professional organization which includes more than 750 clinicians, investigators and trainees. The mission of the CIS is to facilitate education, translational research and novel approaches to therapy in clinical immunology to promote excellence in the care of patients with immunologic / inflammatory disorders.

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress. Elsevier provides web-based, digital solutions — among them ScienceDirect, Scopus, Elsevier Research Intelligence and ClinicalKey— and publishes over 2,500 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and more than 33,000 book titles, including a number of iconic reference works. Elsevier is part of RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries. www.elsevier.com

Media Contact:
Floris de Hon
Elsevier
+31 20 485 2498
f.hon@elsevier.com