Dr. Anahid Jewett's research is currently focused on finding ways to decrease inactivation of Natural Killer (NK) cells by oral cancer cells, thereby increasing the potential of these cells to eliminate cancers. Work performed by her laboratory has resulted in patenting technologies that use NK cells in the treatment of cancer and in stem cell differentiation. Jewett's team has identified and characterized a specific subset of immune cells which protects the stem cells from environmental adverse effects as well as the immune attack by NK cells and Cytotoxic T-cells. These findings are a direct extension of her longstanding work in tumor immunology, as the same subset of immune cells has been found to protect the oral tumors from NK cell mediated cytotoxicity. In addition, Jewett's lab has shown that NK cells specifically target both cancer stem cells and healthy stem cells and not their differentiated counterparts, and delineated how NK cells can aid in the regeneration of tissues. These paradigm-altering findings establish a novel function for the NK cells.
Jewett A, Tseng HC, Arasteh A, Saadat S, Christensen RE, Cacalano NA. Natural killer cells preferentially target cancer stem cells; role of monocytes in protection against NK cell mediated lysis of cancer stem cells. Curr Drug Deliv. 2012 Jan;9(1):5-16.
Jewett A, Tseng HC. Tumor induced inactivation of natural killer cell cytotoxic function; implication in growth, expansion and differentiation of cancer stem cells. J Cancer. 2011;2:443-57. Epub 2011 Aug 10.
Jewett A, Tseng HC. Potential rescue, survival and differentiation of cancer stem cells and primary non-transformed stem cells by monocyte-induced split anergy in natural killer cells. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2012 Feb;61(2):265-74. Epub 2011 Nov 25.
Jewett A, Arasteh A, Tseng HC, Behel A, Arasteh H, Yang W, Cacalano NA, Paranjpe A. Strategies to rescue mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) from NK cell mediated cytotoxicity. PLoS One. 2010 Mar 31;5(3):e9874.
Tseng HC, Arasteh A, Paranjpe A, Teruel A, Yang W, Behel A, Alva JA, Walter G, Head C, Ishikawa TO, Herschman HR, Cacalano N, Pyle AD, Park NH, Jewett A. Increased lysis of stem cells but not their differentiated cells by natural killer cells; de-differentiation or reprogramming activates NK cells. PLoS One. 2010 Jul 16;5(7):e11590.