One treatment option for patients with late-stage melanoma involves removing natural cancer-fighting T cells from the tumor, expanding their numbers in culture dishes, and then re-infusing them into the patient. This strategy—called adoptive immunotherapy— causes tumor regression in about half the patients treated, some of whom survive for decades without relapse.
The French team, lead by Dr. Nathalie Labarriere, studied the infused cells from 30 stage III melanoma patients who had received adoptive immunotherapy between 1994 and 1998.
Among the cells taken from a patient who has remained tumor-free for more than a decade, they found naturally-arising T cells that recognized a new protein, which they dubbed "meloe-1." Meloe-1, the group found, is highly expressed in melanoma cells but not in normal skin cells or in other types of cancer.
When they looked at the transferred cells from the other patients, they found meloe-1-specific T cells in 5 of the 9 patients who remained relapse-free, but in none of the 21 patients who relapsed.
The association of meloe-1-specific T cells with relapse-free survival suggests that amplifying these T cells in culture may be one way to improve the efficacy of adoptive immunotherapy. The team has also succeeded in finding meloe-1 T cells in patients' circulating blood—a much more accessible source than tumor tissue.
Heather Van Epps | EurekAlert!
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Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
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Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
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Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
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