Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Creating a life-saving killer

16.08.2010
Cancer may be kept in check by a method for generating patient-specific immune cells with antitumor activity

Upon receiving the appropriate activating signal, natural killer T (NKT) cells live up to their name, releasing a torrent of molecules that trigger the protective immune response necessary to eliminate pathogens or even thwart tumor growth.

These cells represent a promising clinical tool, as demonstrated in a recent clinical trial in which lung cancer patients received NKT-stimulating injections of dendritic cells that had been pretreated with á-galactosylceramide (á-GalCer)1. Some 60% of treated patients exhibited a striking seven-fold improvement in their median survival time relative to their untreated counterparts. “The effects are superior to other molecular-targeted cancer drugs,” says Masaru Taniguchi of the RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and Immunology (RCAI), Yokohama, whose team participated in this study. “However, this therapy is not applicable to two-thirds of patients because of their limited number of NKT cells.”

To solve this problem, Taniguchi teamed up with RCAI colleague Haruhiko Koseki to develop a method for generating transplantable NKTs2. They derived these from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), embryonic-like cells that are typically generated via virus-mediated delivery of ‘reprogramming genes’ into skin cells. However, NKT maturation involves a complex genomic rearrangement event, making them difficult to derive from conventional iPSCs. As such, Taniguchi and Koseki devised a novel approach for generating mouse iPSCs from existing NKTs, which have already undergone this rearrangement. They used these iPSCs to generate large numbers of new NKTs in vitro.

Their method efficiently produced mature NKTs, which rapidly established a stable population within the liver upon transplantation into mice. To the researchers’ pleasant surprise, these new NKTs displayed typical activation behavior in response to á-GalCer-treated dendritic cells and proved capable of coordinating an effective immune response. “In general, cells generated from in vitro culture die quickly in vivo or are killed by host immune cells … however, this was not the case here,” says Taniguchi. “We detected iPSC-derived NKT cells with adjuvant activity and tumor-eradicating effects two weeks after cell transfer.”

Taniguchi, Koseki and colleagues are now keen to begin working with human cells. This transition will involve many new challenges, but the researchers see great clinical potential in their approach—particularly in the US, where the Food and Drug Administration has approved development of cell-based therapies. “NKT cell-targeted adjuvant cell therapy is applicable [to] any type of cancer patient, because it can overcome [their] immunodeficient status and enhances antitumor responses,” says Taniguchi. “At present, the delivery of patient dendritic cells is the main limiting factor.”

The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the Laboratory for Immune Regulation, RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and Immunology

Associated links

Link to article
Journal information
1. 1.Motohashi, S., Nagato, K., Kunii, N., Yamamoto, H., Yamasaki, K., Okita, K., Hanaoka, H., Shimizu, N., Suzuki, M., Yoshino, I., et al. A phase I-II study of alpha-galactosylceramide-pulsed IL-2/GM-CSF-cultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells in patients with advanced and recurrent non-small cell lung cancer. Journal of Immunology 182, 2492–2501 (2009).

2. 2.Watarai, H., Fujii, S., Yamada, D., Rybouchkin, A., Sakata, S., Nagata, Y., Iida-Kobayashi, M., Sekine-Kondo, E., Shimizu, K., Shozaki, Y. et al. Murine induced pluripotent stem cells can be derived from and differentiate into natural killer T cells. The Journal of Clinical Investigation 120, 2610–2618 (2010).

gro-pr | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.riken.jp
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Closing the carbon loop
08.12.2016 | University of Pittsburgh

nachricht Newly discovered bacteria-binding protein in the intestine
08.12.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

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

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Closing the carbon loop

08.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Applicability of dynamic facilitation theory to binary hard disk systems

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>