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 A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

nachricht CWRU researchers find a chemical solution to shrink digital data storage
22.06.2017 | Case Western Reserve University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation

22.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

A rhodium-based catalyst for making organosilicon using less precious metal

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>