The HLA system of cell-surface proteins regulates the human immune system and can be used as markers in research. A specific HLA type can be associated with an autoimmune disease (Mignot, Emmanuel, et al. 2001) or serve as a biomarker to show how cells respond to cancer treatments (Chowell et al. 2017). HLA types have also become important in understanding cardiovascular morbidity and mortality rates.
Unlike animal testing, HLA-typed cells provide an optimal control system to test cancer reactive T-cells in a culture that represents the human system. With the rapid development of cancer immunotherapies such as adoptive cell therapy, custom cells screened for their HLA types are increasingly important for developing and testing new drugs.