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Indian scientists testing dendritic therapy against cervix cancer



Indian scientists testing dendritic therapy against cervix cancer

By Dr. TV Venkateswaran and Jyoti Singh

Researchers at the National Institute of Immunology (NII) have identified a tumour antigen that promises to be a potent weapon in combating cervical cancer

New Delhi: Cancer of the uterine cervix, also known as cervical cancer, is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women in India. Almost one lakh women fall victim to the insidious disease every year in the country.

Researchers at the New Delhi-based National Institute of Immunology (NII) are in the process of fine tuning a solution that promises to add a highly potent weapon to the armoury against this type of cancer. They have extracted and identified a tumour antigen which seems to hold a lot of promise. The antigen has been named SPAG9.

“The tumor antigen, which is expressed in reproductive tract cancers and a variety of malignancies, has proved successful in phase I trials. This means it has been proved to be safe on human subjects. Phase II clinical trials are presently underway to gauge its efficacy. We hope to get positive results by next year,” said Dr Anil Kumar Suri, NII director, in an interview.

The therapeutic vaccine based on the antigen is being tested among 54 patients at Cancer Institute (WIA) at Adyar in Chennai. The trials are being conducted by a team of oncologist led by Dr T. Rajkumar. If proven efficacious, it could change the face of cervix cancer treatment. The human trials are being conducted subsequent to elaborate trials with animal models.

Invasion of foreign bodies like bacteria or virus usually trigger a volley of fighter cells called T cells. These T cells surround germs and fight them. Each type of virus or bacteria requires specific antigen T cells. Vaccination primes the body to potential threats and keeps the arsenal of antigens ever ready to fight an invasion.

However, this cannot happen with cancer. Even though they are rogue elements, cancer cells are after all from within the affected persons themselves. Body’s immune system cannot normally recognize them as a ‘threat’. They, therefore, allow them to proliferate and spread all around the body.

Immunotherapy is a new approach that exploits body’s inner capability to put up a fight against cancer. Under the approach, either immune system is given a boost or the T cells are “trained’’ to identify recalcitrant cancer cells and kill them.

The NII scientists are using this strategy to develop the new weapon against cancer of the cervix.  “We take cells called monocytes from the patient’s blood and modify them into what are called dendritic cells. These cells have efficient antigens to stimulate the ‘fighter’ cells, or T-cells, in the body. They are then primed with the tumour antigen SPAG9, for ten days, and given back to the patients in the form of a vaccine. The ‘educated’ T cells are able to discriminate the cancer cells and put up a fight against them,” explained Dr Suri.

Poor health, malnutrition, unhygienic environment are the main cause of Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection that leads to cervical cancer. Normally our body has tumor suppressor genes and proteins which are able to suppress formation of tumours. The cells in a tumour multiply uncontrollably with hardly any cell death.

NII has outsourced the manufacture of recombinant SPAG9 to Syngene International (Biocon Limited), Bangalore. “If the trials succeed, it will be the first molecule identified in India and will be an example of translational research outcome. Our findings have opened new avenues for novel treatment modalities in battling the deadly disease of cancer worldwide,” said Dr Suri.

Dr. Suri graduated from Hans Raj College, Delhi University and after that did his post-graduation and doctorate from National Dairy Research Institute at Karnal. Subsequently, he did his post- doctorate from Laboratoire pour le contrôle des Reproducteurs, Maisons-Alfort, France. He returned to India in 1985 and joined NII as a scientist.

The thrust of his research is on early detection and diagnosis of cancer and development of targeted approaches for therapeutic interventions for cancer medicine.

Dr Suri has authored 63 high impact publications in reputed international journal and has 15 patents on novel immunotherapeutic method for cancer treatment and diagnosis in India and abroad. He has won the S.S. Guraya Memorial Award, Dr T C Anand Kumar Memorial Oration Award and Rabindra Nath Chakravarti Citation Award.

(This article is from a syndicated feed provided by the India Science Wire)


Meesho mega blockbuster sale: E-commerce platform to offer 80 percent discount on electronics

The e-commerce platform’s first mega blockbuster sale will sell more than 400 brands directly with the help of authorised partners on its digital store called Meesho Mall.



Meesho online shopping app

Ahead of the festive season, e-commerce platform Meesho’s mega blockbuster sale is starting on Friday, October 6, 2023. The platform will provide a massive discount of up to 80 percent on different categories such as essentials, accessories, electronics, footwear, etc.

The blockbuster sale is scheduled to conclude on October 13, 2023. Notably, the Softbank backed e-commerce platform is starting its festive sale a day before Flipkart or Amazon’s festive sale goes live.  The e-commerce platform’s first mega blockbuster sale will sell more than 400 brands directly with the help of authorised partners on its digital store called Meesho Mall.

Reportedly, the platform also added over 50 lakh new customers during these sales. More than 75 percent of the demand was received from Tier-II cities, including Amravati, Aurangabad, Dehradun, Nellore, Solapur, and Warangal. The platform further claimed that they have added more than 2 lakh sellers in the past two years.

Recently, Meesho affirmed that  they have received over 10 million (approx) from its pre-festive sales during Onam, Raksha Bandhan, and Ganesh Chaturthi. The platform has more than 14 lakh sellers, selling approx 12 crore products in 30 different categories. 

In an effort to increase the seller base, the company announced the onboarding of non-GST sellers on the platform earlier this week. The GST council announced to permit the e-commerce platform to onboard sellers with turnover of up to Rs 40 lakh.

Prior to Meesho’s Mega Blockbuster Sale, the company introduced a loyalty programme during which eligible users will earn Smart Coins, which the user can redeem every time they make the purchase of any products on the platform. 

As per Redseer, over 140 million shoppers are likely to make purchases during the festive season. This will enhance the Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) of the Indian e-commerce sector by 18 to 20 per cent and may touch Rs 90,000 crore as compared to Rs 76,000 crore last year.

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Phones & gadgets

Apple launches iPhone 15 series, India price, features, availability  

The iPhone 15 series will be available in India from September 22 but iPhone lovers can also pre-order, starting from September 15 onwards.



Apple launched its most anticipated iPhone 15 series, including the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max during the Wonderlust event globally on September 12 night.

The iPhone 15 series will be available in India from September 22 but iPhone lovers can also pre-order, starting from September 15 onwards.

People can buy a new iPhone 15 or upgrade it to the old one. There are five colours available for the people.  

According to reports, Apple has been manufacturing the iPhone 15 series in India and China. Apple has moved 7% of its iPhone production to India. Previously, India was not making the newest models. The Centre’s production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for smartphones played a part in Apple moving its production to India.

The new iPhone 15 has been launched with the same starting price as its prototype, the iPhone 14. The 128GB variant is priced at Rs 79,900, while the 256GB variant costs Rs 89,900. For people who need more storage, the 512GB variant is available for Rs 1,09,900.

This latest iPhone series puffs a 6.1-inch display and comes in five different colours which are pink, yellow, green, blue, and black. While the design remains the same as the previous models, the iPhone 15 features a dynamic island notch instead of the usual notch, which was highly popular among the iPhone 14 Pro phones.

The camera part of the iPhone series has undergone significant upgrades, the new iPhone 15, with an enhanced 48-megapixel primary sensor replaces the 12-megapixel dual camera system which was available in the previous iPhone 14. This significant improvement promises better low-light photography and portrait shots.

The tech giant announced that the iPhone 15 has an all-day battery life, making it more convenient for users to go about their daily activities without worrying about their phone’s battery.

The iPhone 15 Pro models feature a lighter body and thinner bezels. The new AirPods Pro with USB-C charging case will support Lossless Audio with Apple Vision Pro.

Additionally, the iPhone 15 is powered by Apple’s A16 bionic processor, an upgrade from the A15 bionic chipset used in the previous iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus models. The Pro models had the faster and better A16 chip, but now this feature is available in all iPhone 15 models.

The USB-C port on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus remain limited to lightning speeds up to 480 Mbps. The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max support USB 3 speeds up to 10 Gbps. People will need to buy a separate 1-meter Thunderbolt 4 Pro cable for Rs 5,724 or Rs 10,701 for the 1.8-meter cable to support faster speeds.

The dynamic island notch feature, which can adjust its size according to notifications, was widely discussed before the launch of the iPhone 15. This unique feature can now be available in all models of the phone.

Another important feature of the iPhone 15 is the shift to the USB Type C charging port. Apple has abandoned the lightning port in favour of the more commonly used USB Type C charging port. This means, there is no longer a need for a special iPhone charging cable to be carried around everywhere you go.

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OnePlus Onam Offers: Discounts, cashbacks, exchange offers, check details

ICICI customers can avail an extra Rs 500 discount through Net Banking on OnePlus 11 5G and OnePlus 11 5G Marble Odyssey purchases from OnePlus.in till August 31, 2023.



OnePlus Onam Offers: Discounts, cashbacks, exchange offers, check details

OnePlus, one of the leading global technology brands, has announced a captivating lineup of products to celebrate the festive spirit of Onam. According to reports, OnePlus 11 5G and OnePlus 11R 5G come with exclusive savings and exchange bonuses during this festive season.

OnePlus Ensemble Bundle: The technology brand has introduced a curated collection of OnePlus 11 5G, OnePlus Pad and Buds Pro 2. Following an instant discount of Rs 4000 through ICICI Bank and OneCard, prices began at Rs 1,07,997. Furthermore, customers of Axis Bank, Citi, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, SBI Cards, and OneCard can benefit from up to a 24-month No Cost EMI. 

OnePlus 11 5G: ICICI customers can avail an extra Rs 500 discount through Net Banking on OnePlus 11 5G and OnePlus 11 5G Marble Odyssey purchases from OnePlus.in till August 31, 2023. Meanwhile, OneCard users can also take an instant Rs 2000 bank discount on the same devices exclusively till August 31. Purchasers also have the opportunity to unlock an additional exchange bonus worth Rs 6000 and Rs 10000 on the OnePlus 11 5G and OnePlus 11 5G Marble Odyssey.

OnePlus Nord 3 and Nord CE 3: ICICI Bank Credit Card, Credit EMI and Debit Card EMI users can get an instant discount of Rs 1000 on purchase of the OnePlus Nord 3 5G. The offer is valid till August 31. Furthermore, OneCard credit card and EMI users can also enjoy an instant discount of Rs 1000 on the purchase of the OnePlus Nord 3 5G. 

Moreover, OnePlus Nord CE 3 5G purchase facilitates a Rs 1000 instant discount on Axis Bank and Citi Credit and Debit Cards through EMI transactions and all OneCard transactions. This particular offer will be valid from September 1, 2023. Reportedly, this offer also holds eligibility for No Cost EMI with Axis Bank, Citi, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, SBI cards and OneCard for six months.

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