"We have developed the mathematical basis of the immune responses observed in stem cell transplantation and other forms of cancer therapy reliant upon the immune system," says Massey hematologist-oncologist and lead investigator Amir Toor, M.D. "This has allowed us to understand the immune responses that occur following transplantation and cancer immunotherapy as a deterministic, rather than random process. In the future, we hope such models will be used to facilitate treatment decisions, which will improve the outcome of patients treated for cancers of the blood and lymphatic system."
Toor has been pursuing the idea of modeling immune responses since he discovered fractal patterns in the development of T-cells when he examined DNA sequencing data from stem cell transplant donors and recipients more than 6 years ago. He gave a TEDxRVA talk about their discoveries in 2013.
Year - Toor - Team - Studies - Nature
But in the past year, Toor and his team have published three additional studies that are shedding more light onto the seemingly random nature of immune responses and taking them further in their ability to personalize treatments in order to avoid potentially life-threatening complications such as graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in stem cell transplant patients and cytokine release syndrome in CAR T-cell patients.
The first of the three studies, published in the journal PLoS ONE, analyzed DNA sequencing samples from 27 HLA-matched related and 50 unrelated stem cell donors and transplant recipients, and it found substantial differences in protein coding between the two.
Leucocyte - Antigen - HLA - Refers - Genes
The human leucocyte antigen (HLA) refers to the genes that encode for proteins on the surface of cells that are responsible for regulating the immune system. Doctors currently use HLA testing to match stem cell donors and recipients who have similar HLA makeup, and it identifies the major HLA genes a person has inherited and their corresponding antigens. The proteins produced by HLA genes help the...
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