April 2022

Gut instincts: the mucosal immune system treads a thin line

Gut instincts: the mucosal immune system treads a thin line

Mucosal surfaces are the primary interface between an individual and pathogens and are particularly vulnerable to infection. Yet, they also come into regular contact with a host of antigens that need to be tolerated. To allow tolerance and deal with a constant threat of infection, a dynamic and complex array of immune mechanisms provide a finely calibrated first response to these invasive microbial threats.

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Cancer models are getting better

Cancer models are getting better

More than any other disease, the complexity of cancer has frustrated the development of effective therapeutics. The varying and evolving landscape of genetic changes between and within tumors and the complex interaction of the cancer cells with the immune system make this disease extremely difficult to simulate. A range of models now exists that better replicate cancers complexity.

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Whatever happed to the Endostatin?

Whatever happed to the Endostatin?

Cancer drug candidates sometimes emerge with exceptional promise but ultimately fall short. In the late 1990s, endostatin gained huge prominence and was widely viewed as an exceptional cancer drug candidate. But things didn’t quite work out. Although endostatin is now approved by the FDA, in the West it is largely forgotten, eclipsed by newer treatments. But look East, notably to China, and endostatin is very much at the forefront of cancer therapy, particularly in combination with chemotherapy. Why have its fortunes varied geographically and will it ever make a global impact?

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PODS-PeptiGels for improved 3D cell culture launched

PODS-PeptiGels for improved 3D cell culture launched

Cell Guidance Systems and Manchester BIOGEL collaborate to launch PODS-PeptiGels for 3D cell culture • PODS-PeptiGels combine two stand-out technologies in a single customisable cell culture environment • Provides researchers with a predictable and controlled system, with potential for long-term experiments and reduced hands-on time

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Taming inflammation

Taming inflammation

Inflammation is critical for maintaining health, but, paradoxically, can also generate disease: Chronic inflammation is strongly associated with the development of cancer and is also a key driver of the ageing process. In addition, auto-immune diseases, of which there are very many, are debilitating and can lead to high rates of morbidity and mortality. Drugs that are able to specifically target the damaging aspects inflammatory responses whilst leaving critical functions intact can be hugely successful.

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