Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study shows combination of immune substances to be safe

12.12.2005


New research has shown that the immune-stimulating hormone known as interleukin-12 (IL-12) can safely be administered with interferon, another immune-system protein, as an experimental therapy for some cancers.



Normally, interferon is used alone to stimulate the immune system to attack certain cancers. This strategy, a form of immunotherapy, is sometimes used to treat melanoma, advanced kidney cancer and other tumors that respond poorly to chemotherapy or radiation therapy. But interferon can have serious side effects that limit its use.

Surprisingly, the two drugs used in sequence caused no serious side effects in patients.


"Interferon can be quite toxic when used alone," says principal investigator William E. Carson, III, associate professor of surgery and associate director for clinical research at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.

"We were initially concerned that the addition of IL-12 might increase that toxicity. Instead, we found that the two drugs can be used together without additional side effects."

The findings are published in the December 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. They suggest that IL-12 primes white blood cells such that a lower dose of interferon will stimulate the same level of immune activity as a higher dose of interferon when used alone.

The results come from a phase-I clinical trial, which marks the first time a treatment is tried in human subjects. The trial, conducted by Carson and a team of colleagues, involved 49 patients ages 23 to 84 with different types of advanced cancer, including cancers of the colon, lung, kidney and bladder and melanoma.

On the first day of treatment, patients were given IL-12, initially by injection and then intravenously. That was followed by injections of interferon over the next five days. On average, patients received five such cycles over the course of the study.

The drug combination not only proved to be safe – which was the purpose of the study – but the researchers found that it stopped disease progression in five of the patients for at least six months.

"Our findings were encouraging," Carson says. "They indicate that we can safely administer IL-12 in combination with interferon, that it enhances the action of interferon in some patients with advanced cancer, and that it can be an effective way to stimulate the immune system."

Based on the study’s results, and the results of earlier animal studies led by the research group, Carson and his colleagues are conducting a multicenter phase II clinical trial of the two drugs in people with melanoma.

Phase-II trials are the first step in determining the effectiveness of new therapy against a specific disease.

"We believe that use of the two drugs together will give us more bang for the buck," says first author Gregory B. Lesinski, a research assistant professor in the Human Cancer Genetics Program.

"We hope that the IL-12 will allow us to use lower doses of interferon in patients, which should result in fewer side effects and potentially a longer use of interferon, giving the immune system more time to fight the tumor."

Darrell E. Ward | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.osumc.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Amputees can learn to control a robotic arm with their minds
28.11.2017 | University of Chicago Medical Center

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

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: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

Im Focus: A transistor of graphene nanoribbons

Transistors based on carbon nanostructures: what sounds like a futuristic dream could be reality in just a few years' time. An international research team working with Empa has now succeeded in producing nanotransistors from graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, as reported in the current issue of the trade journal "Nature Communications."

Graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, so-called graphene nanoribbons, have special electrical properties that make them promising candidates for the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

Blockchain is becoming more important in the energy market

05.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Making fuel out of thick air

08.12.2017 | Life Sciences

Rules for superconductivity mirrored in 'excitonic insulator'

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

Smartphone case offers blood glucose monitoring on the go

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>