Bob writes:

In Immune 14 the team investigated the mechanisms behind activating

T-cells to attack tumors.  They discussed the discouraging fact that each

potentiation seems only to work in about 20% of clinical cases.

There seems to be new work on a mechanism which could help alleviate this problem:

With my limited knowledge of immunology I am unable to understand how this


Maybe the panel could take up the paper announcing the research?


Sara writes:

Hi all!

Just wanted to write in and express my appreciation for Steph’s pick (Pregnant Scholar) in the last episode. I checked it out and it looks great, great initiative!

Keep up the great picks and episodes!


Sara (currently in Christchurch, NZ)

Garrett writes:

Thanks for all you guys do! Its nice to finally have an immunology podcast out there! Makes the commute more educational 🙂

I’m an MD-PhD student in Texas, and I just wanted to maybe offer a slightly different perspective on some of what you were talking about in episode 14 – Braking bad. You’d been talking about immune checkpoint inhibitors and cost and things, and one of your comments was about the US government not recouping some of the money from research. And it is a valid question, but there’s another side to it I think that doesn’t get talked about as much. One of the largest things that the US government does is to try and maintain a healthy, productive economy. That keeps everyone employed and keeps the wealth moving and growing in this country (and frankly every country). When the US government invests money into scientific research, they are doing exactly that. That grant money pays for researchers and their staff, but also has created the entire cohort of scientific companies who produce reagents and components for scientific research. Those would not exist without the NIH grant money. These companies in turn employ many people, pushing money into the economy. When a therapy is developed that is marketable, researchers turn that into a patent and sell it. This research almost exclusively occurs at the level of universities, and selling the patents to private companies brings valuable funding to the university to help fund its programs, provide education, and invest in additional research. And a pharmaceutical company itself is going to employ a lot of people as well.

If the US government were to recall that grant money, there’s a very real chance it would dampen this impact on the economy, causing more harm than good. By just letting that money go, they provide the funding that fuels entire industries, and at the same time advance healthcare and medicine and knowledge in general.

Not trying to defend a pharmaceutical company here (they’ve got enough money to lobby for their own defense), just trying to put out a slightly different perspective than is usually talked about.

Keep up the good work!