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Contact: Vicki Cohn, (914) 740-2156, vcohn@liebertpub.com
Novel Gene Therapy Enables Persistent Anti-Tumor Immune Response

New Rochelle, NY, October 9, 2013—Cancer immunotherapy can successfully use the body's own immune system to kill tumor cells. But some current approaches to stimulate an antitumor immune response are short-lived, with limited clinical effectiveness. A new gene transfer strategy that introduces modified, immune-stimulating human stem cells is both feasible and effective for achieving persistent immunotherapy to treat leukemias and lymophomas, according to a study published in Human Gene Therapy, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available on the Human Gene Therapy website.

Satiro Nakamura De Oliveira and coauthors from the David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles and University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, describe the gene transfer method they developed to deliver chimeric antigen receptors, or CARS, that direct the immune system to target tumor cells derived from B-lymphocytes.

In the article "Modification of Hematopoietic Stem/Progenitor Cells with CD19-specific Chimeric Antigen Receptors as a Novel Approach for Cancer Immunotherapy" the authors show that by packaging the CARS in human hematopoietic stem cells, the immunotherapeutic receptors will be produced in the bloodstream for a long period of time. This persistent expression should improve their effectiveness in the treatment of blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma.

"This study represents an interesting new direction for an approach that has generated substantial interest," says Dr. Wilson, Director of the Gene Therapy Program, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia.

About the Journal
Human Gene Therapy, the official journal of the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, British Society for Gene and Cell Therapy, French Society of Cell and Gene Therapy, German Society of Gene Therapy, and five other gene therapy societies, is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published monthly in print and online. Human Gene Therapy presents reports on the transfer and expression of genes in mammals, including humans. Related topics include improvements in vector development, delivery systems, and animal models, particularly in the areas of cancer, heart disease, viral disease, genetic disease, and neurological disease, as well as ethical, legal, and regulatory issues related to the gene transfer in humans. Its sister journal, Human Gene Therapy Methods, published bimonthly, focuses on the application of gene therapy to product testing and development, and Human Gene Therapy Clinical Development, new in 2013, publishes data relevant to the regulatory review and commercial development of cell and gene therapy products. Complete tables of content for all three publications and a free sample issue may be viewed on the Human Gene Therapy website.

About the Publisher
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Nucleic Acid Therapeutics, Tissue Engineering, Stem Cells and Development, and Cellular Reprogramming. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.