Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study shows haploidentical natural killer cells may provide hope for some patients with AML

06.12.2004


U of MN researcher will present findings at the American Society of Hematology Conference

A University of Minnesota Cancer Center study indicates natural killer cells obtained from a family member and artificially stimulated may provide renewed hope for some patients who have advanced acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), a highly fatal cancer of the bone marrow, that has become resistant to standard treatment with chemotherapy. Natural killer cells are part of the body’s immune system. The cells play an important role in defending the body against infection and against some cancers, particularly leukemia. In patients with AML, the killer cells have lost most of their natural ability to fight the aggressive cancer cells.

This study is the first to successfully demonstrate that half-matched donor (haploidentical) natural killer cells that are transfused into a patient with AML can survive and persist to actively attack and kill the deadly cancer cells. As a result, the disease may go into remission and make the patient eligible for bone marrow transplant, an effective long-term treatment option for AML.



Jeffrey Miller, M.D., lead researcher, will present the findings of this study – the successful remission of poor prognosis AML patients after transfer of human haploidentical natural killer cells – at the 46th annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) on Dec. 5 in San Diego. A hematology physician-researcher, Miller is a professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School and leader of The Cancer Center’s Blood and Marrow Transplant Program.

According to Miller, the goal of the study was to try to stimulate the immune system of patients with advanced AML to fight the cancer by giving the patients natural killer cells that were donated by family members and activated by a drug called interleukin-2. (Typically, interleukin-2 is a protein substance naturally produced by the body to stimulate natural killer cells and other cells to do their job of fighting infections and cancer. However, in patients with AML, the cancer may suppress the ability of interleukin-2 to optimally stimulate the patient’s own natural killer cells.)

The result of Miller’s study was this: the donated natural killer cells thrived in some patients for more than 28 days, and five of 19 patients achieved remission. "Admittedly we need to do more research, but we believe that we may have found another option, opened another door to potentially broaden our treatment capabilities of AML and give more hope to some patients who have been told there was nothing more that could be done for them," Miller says.

AML is the most common acute leukemia. In people over age 65, AML has increased about 10 percent in the last 25 years. Of the nearly 12,000 people who will be diagnosed with AML this year, about 90 percent will be adults age 65 and older. Approximately 8,870 people with AML will die this year.

Miller and his research team found in previous studies that natural killer cells derived from the patient did not provide the anti-tumor effect. In this study, the team set out to determine if natural killer cells that were obtained from a family member, artificially stimulated with interleukin-2 and then infused into the patient could have an anti-tumor effect.

A total of 19 patients with AML were compared to a control group of eight patients with renal cancer. The patients with renal cancer received a low intensity outpatient immune suppressive dose of the chemotherapy drug, fludarabine. The patients with AML received a higher intensity inpatient treatment of the chemotherapy drugs, cyclophosphamide and fludarabine. Both sets of patients received interleukin-2, a protein substance that makes infection-fighting cells multiply and mature. The data showed that the infused natural killer cells expanded in the AML patients to achieve anti-tumor efficacy. There were no notable responses in the patients with renal cancer.

Additionally, the study indicated that interleukin-15, also a protein substance and similar to interleukin-2, played a role in the expansion of the natural killer cells. Patients with AML had significant increases in their interleukin-15, while renal cancer patients in the control group showed only a slight increase. This finding suggested that the chemotherapy combination of cyclophosphamide and fludarabine allowed for the expansion of infused natural killer cells.

"We are encouraged by our findings," Miller says. "Now we have data indicating that haploidentical natural killer cells have a role in the treatment of AML, whether used alone or in combination with a bone marrow transplant."

Mary Lawson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umn.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

nachricht Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester

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: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New gene catalog of ocean microbiome reveals surprises

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Astrophysicists explain the mysterious behavior of cosmic rays

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

AI implications: Engineer's model lays groundwork for machine-learning device

18.08.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>