THE BIO BLOG

Working Together, Finding Cures

New Research Opportunity: Donors Needed for New Cancer Treatment Studies

Moffitt Cancer Center© Moffitt Cancer Center

Bio-Linked™ is seeking blood donors to help advance cancer studies. The Blood Institute is collaborating with Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida to collect mononuclear cells for cancer research and treatments. Mononuclear cells play a critical role in healthy immune function and prevention of cancer.  These cells are separated and extracted from whole blood during apheresis blood donation, a process that takes a bit longer than a typical platelet donation (approximately 120 minutes).  Donors who participate should be healthy adults who weigh at least 110 pounds and meet all criteria for a whole blood donation.  Participants are eligible to receive compensation.  

In order to participate, donors must also accept research opportunities on their BioProfile on the Bio-Linked website.  Under preferences, be sure to note your preferred method of contact, and mark “Donate Apheresis White Blood Cells” on the slide for donation types you are willing to offer. 

Moffitt, a non-profit, National Cancer Institute-designated treatment and research center, has operated in Tampa, Florida, since 1986.  It conducts groundbreaking studies to fight many forms of cancer, in five focal areas: cancer biology & evolution, cancer epidemiology, chemical biology & molecular medicine, health outcomes & behavior, and immunology.

Through Bio-Linked™ and Bio-Sharing™, the Blood Institute provides the blood cells necessary to support Moffitt’s cutting-edge cell therapy research and development— programs that could lead to discoveries of new cancer treatments and cures. The mononuclear cell is a key ingredient for the cancer-fighting lymphocyte drugs Moffitt Cancer Center creates with the help of drug developers.  These innovative treatments give hope to patients with previously untreatable cancers.

By participating in Bio-Linked™, you are part of the pioneering relationship between the Blood Institute and Moffitt Cancer Center, and you are helping evolve the search for cures to cancers that affect your family members, friends, neighbors, and millions of others.

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Magic of the Mesenchymal Stromal Cell

by Jennifer Chain, Ph.D.

A specialized type of stem cell called a mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) is primarily found in bone marrow, and to a lesser extent in placenta, fat, teeth, and blood. These cells have the potential to develop into many tissue types throughout the body like bone, cartilage, muscle, and skin. They also control immune responses, promote wound healing, and support tissue regeneration. Inside the bone marrow, MSCs provide support for hematopoietic progenitor cell (HPC) development into blood cells. The diverse developmental potential and functions of MSCs make them ideal for a wide variety of therapeutic uses.

There are thousands of research and clinical studies underway analyzing the ability of MSCs to prevent transplant graft attack on host tissue, control the development of autoimmune diseases, and promote tissue healing from heart attack, stroke, spinal cord injuries, liver disease, chronic wounds, and many other injuries and disorders. However, it is currently difficult to obtain enough MSCs to meet the growing demand for research and therapy use.

To address this problem, the Oklahoma Blood Institute is partnering with LifeShare of Oklahoma to collect bone marrow from deceased tissue donors, grow MSCs from bone marrow in our facilities, and make MSCs available to our community scientists for use in research and therapy development. In Oklahoma Blood Institute's Bio-Development Division, we are conducting several research studies to grow and characterize MSCs from deceased donors and demonstrate their potential for therapy use. This work will increase the supply of MSCs available to clinical scientists to use in therapies focused on wound healing and tissue regeneration, as well as for treatments of autoimmune and inflammatory disorders.

HLA Match: Key to Unlock a Cure

The cutting edge of many new medical advances involves using the body's own immune cells in new ways.

For these therapies to work, scientists often need to make a "tissue match," also known as an "HLA match" between the treatment cells and a patient.  By including your HLA type as part of your Bio-Linked profile, you can put yourself at the front of the line to be part of amazing discoveries and life-changing cures!

If you are signed up to be a marrow donor through the Be The Match registry, you have your HLA typing information on file with the National Marrow Donor Program.

By simply sending a request to HLARequests@Bio-Linked.org, you can request a copy of your HLA results.  Once you receive your report, we now have an area for you to input this important data into your Bio-Linked profile.  Please help speed our research efforts by making this critical upgrade to your profile!

If you know your HLA type from a lab work done from a source other than Be The Match. that would be equally valuable.

For your reference it is usually provided in a format similar to one shown below.