Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Novel immune system-based gene therapy induces strong responses in metastatic melanoma, sarcoma

Researchers have found that a novel form of personalized therapy that genetically engineers a patient's own anti-tumor immune cells to fight tumors could treat metastatic melanoma and metastatic synovial cell sarcoma, representing a potentially new therapeutic approach against these and other cancers.

The technique, called adoptive immunotherapy, works with the body's immune system to fight cancer. Immune cells, called T lymphocytes, are removed, modified, expanded in large numbers, and given back to the patient. In this case, the process entailed genetically engineering T cell lymphocytes to express receptors directed against a specific antigen on the cancer cell.

"We believe that this approach of adoptive immunotherapy is the most effective means for using the body's immune system to combat cancer," said senior study author Steven A. Rosenberg, MD, PhD, chief of the surgery branch at the National Cancer Institute. "This paper represents the first time that adoptive immunotherapy using genetically modified cells has been successfully used to treat a solid cancer other than melanoma because we are targeting an antigen present on many types of cancer."

The treatment resulted in response rates of 45 percent and 67 percent in malignant melanoma and synovial cell sarcoma patients, respectively.

In earlier trials, Rosenberg and colleagues used adoptive immunotherapy on treatment-resistant patients with metastatic melanoma who had extensive prior therapy. Of 93 patients studied, they found that more than half had measurable responses, including 20 with complete disappearance of all melanoma metastases.

In the current study, 17 patients with treatment-resistant metastatic melanoma or metastatic synovial cell sarcoma received therapy with their own immune T cells. The cells were genetically engineered to express a T cell receptor that recognized the NY-ESO-1 cancer-testes antigen on cancer cells. NY-ESO-1 is expressed in one quarter to one third of common epithelial cancers such as those of the breast, kidney, esophagus and other cancer types, and in about 80 percent of synovial cell sarcoma.

Four of six patients (67 percent) with synovial cell sarcoma and five of 11 (45 percent) melanoma patients had measurable tumor regression. Two of the 11 melanoma patients had complete regression lasting for more than one year. The treatments had minimal toxicity.

"The effectiveness of this treatment in patients with synovial cell sarcoma may mean that this new approach can be used for patients with other cancers as well," Rosenberg said, "And potentially lead to new types of immunotherapy. "

Rosenberg's group recently reported the first example of using adoptive immunotherapy to treat a patient with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and continues to explore different ways to genetically modify a patient's immune system to treat cancer. They have also recently published results showing that immune cells could be genetically modified to target and destroy the blood vessels supplying nutrients to tumors in experimental models.

ASCO Perspective: Sylvia Adams, MD, Member of ASCO's Cancer Communications Committee

"Several studies have suggested that transfusing immune system T cells can induce cancer regression in melanoma patients. Unlike prior studies, this study used engineered T cells specific for a tumor antigen that is carried by a variety of tumors, including sarcomas, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, malignant melanoma, and breast cancer. This approach broadens the applicability of the technique to several cancers and minimizes toxicity. The observed tumor shrinkage in patients with metastatic sarcoma and melanoma is promising, and if confirmed in additional clinical trials, this immunotherapy may become a new treatment option."

Helpful Links from Cancer.Net:

Understanding Immunotherapy
Cancer.Net Guide to Melanoma
Cancer.Net Guide to Sarcoma
The Journal of Clinical Oncology is the tri-monthly peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the world's leading professional society representing physicians who treat people with cancer.


Kelly Powell | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>