Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UCLA researchers observe how the immune system recognizes and responds to cancer

16.11.2005


Discovery may result in faster ways to test immunotherapies



Using positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center were able to observe - in real time - how the immune system initially recognizes cancer and mobilizes to fight the disease.

The UCLA study is expected to lead to new ways to test immune-based therapies for cancer and other immune system-related diseases and to monitor human response to cancer treatments much more quickly and without the need for invasive biopsies, said Dr. Owen Witte, a Jonsson Cancer Center researcher, a professor of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics and the study’s senior author.


The study appears in the Nov. 29, 2005 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and will be published in an early online edition this week.

"This study is teaching us about how the immune system recognizes cancer. That’s something we couldn’t see before," said Witte, who also serves as director of the UCLA Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Medicine and is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. "We were able to watch the primary immune response, the very first reaction of the immune system to the presence of cancer in body. This gives us a new tool that will allow us to evaluate novel ways to help the immune system become better at finding and eliminating cancer as well as studying autoimmune and immune deficiency disorders."

In the study, Witte and his team removed bone marrow from a laboratory animal and marked all the cells that would be derived from the bone marrow stem cells with two radioactive probes that are detected by a PET scan. Because they used different probes that show in different ways the cell functions, the research team was able to see more of what was going on in the immune system as it fought cancer, Witte said.

The bone marrow was then put into a different laboratory animal and cancer was introduced so researchers could monitor the immune response – the movement and behavior of lymphocytes and myeloid cells, the cells the immune system uses to fight foreign invaders.

"We were able to observe the moment that the immune system sees the foreign antigens of the cancer in the body and its response, which starts in the local draining lymph nodes," Witte said. "We saw an increased number of lymphocytes and myeloid cells in those lymph nodes, then saw them migrating to the tumor in an attempt to kill the cancer."

One of the probes used to mark the immune system cells and cause them to light up under PET scan, the agent FDG, already is approved for use in humans, Witte said. This could prove valuable in monitoring human response to immune-based therapies such as cancer vaccines.

Researchers could use FDG and PET scanning, for example, on a patient receiving an experimental cancer vaccine. Researchers could determine much more quickly whether the therapy was working by monitoring immune response in real time.

"We could see much sooner if the therapy was effective, without the need for a biopsy," Witte said. "We would also know very rapidly, within a week or two. Prior to this, we had to wait many months to find out if a therapy was working."

Jonsson Cancer Center researchers testing a melanoma vaccine will be collaborating with Witte and his team to monitor immune response in those study volunteers, Witte said. If the therapy is not working, the volunteers would not have to undergo months of unsuccessful treatment and could potentially find another therapy to try.

PET scanning, developed by UCLA scientist Michael Phelps, is a highly sensitive detection method that provides three-dimensional information within the body. The probes used in this study are labeled with positron-emitting radioisotopes, which allow researchers to measure the rates of biochemical processes in the tissue, processes such as immune response.

"Many of the problems in evaluating immunotherapy protocols stem from the lack of effective tools to follow the extent and duration of responses to treatment," the study states. "In this study, we have demonstrated a strategy to monitor a specific primary immune response against a tumor challenge."

Kim Irwin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mednet.ucla.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

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: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>