Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Giving tumor vaccines a proper introduction

11.04.2011
Therapies that target specialized cells residing within the lymph nodes may help to rally tumor-killing immune responses

Given how effectively the immune system can eliminate foreign threats such bacteria and viruses, hopes are high for the development of strategies that might turn these same defense mechanisms against cancerous targets.

However, attempts to train the immune system to recognize malignancies via the intravenous injection of vaccines that present tumor-derived antigens have fallen short.

According to Kenichi Asano, a researcher with Masato Tanaka’s group at the RIKEN Center for Allergy and Immunology in Yokohama, this is the result of ‘tolerance’ mechanisms that protect against autoimmune disease. “Billions of cells die every day, and cell corpses must be removed swiftly from our body in order not to induce detrimental effects,” he says. In this scenario, macrophage cells in the spleen clean house by devouring such debris in a process known as phagocytosis, thereby preventing dead cells from triggering an inflammatory response.

Tumor cells delivered into the lymphatic system via subcutaneous injection, however, can successfully elicit a strong immune response, and new research from Asano and colleagues explains why this is the case[1]. In order to rouse an effective reaction, phagocytic cells must present recognizable chunks of those dead cells to tumor-killing cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). The researchers identified a very specific subset of macrophages within the lymph nodes that perform this task.

Intriguingly, these cells, which are distinguishable by their expression of the cell-surface protein CD169, are non-migratory and reside stably within the sinuses of the lymph node, awaiting their prey like spiders in a web. Dead cancer cells delivered to these sinuses via the lymphatic system are rapidly digested by the macrophages (Fig. 1), which in turn cross-present the resulting antigens to CTLs. By selectively killing off these macrophages with diphtheria toxin, the researchers were able to essentially disable the immune response. “Without CD169 macrophages, tumor-directed T cells were no longer activated—that means these cells dominate anti-tumor immunity after tumor cell death,” says Asano.

These findings help explain why the dead cells that slough off of tumors into the lymphatic system during radiation or chemotherapy are sometimes sufficient to provoke an immune response, and could provide the foundation for far more effective cancer immunotherapy strategies. “I believe it is very promising to mount anti-tumor immunity in patients with solid tumors by delivering tumor antigens specifically to CD169 macrophages,” says Asano. “It's my dream to invent artificial materials that possess the characteristics of dead cells and are safe for administration to patients.”

The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the Laboratory for Innate Cellular Immunity, RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and Immunology

Journal information

[1] Asano, K., Nabeyama, A., Miyake, Y., Qiu, C.-H., Kurita, A., Tomura, M., Kanagawa, O., Fujii, S.-I. & Tanaka, M. CD169-positive macrophages dominate antitumor immunity by crosspresenting dead cell-associated antigens. Immunity 34, 85–95 (2011).

gro-pr | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.rikenresearch.riken.jp/eng/research/6560
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Newly designed molecule binds nitrogen
23.02.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Atomic Design by Water
23.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>