Designer T Cells Fight Viruses After Transplants

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bone marrow transplants save thousands of lives but patients are vulnerable to severe viral infections in the months afterward, until their new immune system kicks in. Now scientists are developing protection for that risky period — injections of cells specially designed to fend off up to five different viruses at once. MoreNo Streams for You? What Supreme Court's Aereo Ruling Means NBC NewsJessica N. Turner: Moms, Put on That Swimsuit Huffington PostKnow a Debbie Downer? Stop Trying to Cheer Her Up NBC NewsViva! Pope Francis Flaunts Argentina Soccer Jersey NBC NewsUruguay eliminates Italy; Did Suarez bite again? Sports Illustrated“These viruses are a huge problem, and there’s a huge need for these products,” said Dr. Ann Leen, who leads a team at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital that found an easier way to produce these long-desired designer T cells. Healthy people have an army of T cells that roams the body, primed to recognize and fight viruses. People with suppressed immune systems — such as those undergoing a bone marrow transplant to treat leukemia or other diseases — lack that protection. It can take anywhere from four months to more than a year for marrow stem cells from a healthy donor to take root and start producing new immune cells for the recipient. When patients get sick before then, today’s antiviral medications don’t always work and cause lots of side effects....
Source: TIME: Top Science and Health Stories - Category: Science Authors: Tags: Uncategorized medicine Research Science Source Type: news

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