Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New approach in T-cell therapy to treat cancer

08.06.2017

Scientists have armed immune cells with a new surface molecule. This causes the cells to respond particularly aggressively when they encounter a protein that tumors actually use to camouflage themselves from the immune system. Researchers from the Helmholtz Zentrum München and various partners introduced the method in ‘Cancer Research’.

With numerous different entities and millions of people affected, cancer continues to be one of the most prevalent diseases around the world. Scientists are working to find new treatment possibilities, and have been concentrating on the body’s own immune system for some time.


T cells attack a tumor cell and secrete lytic proteins (red/yellow) in order to destroy it.

Source: Helmholtz Zentrum München

“Because cancer emerges from the body’s own cells, it is usually difficult for the immune system to distinguish good cells from bad ones,” explains Prof. Dr. Elfriede Nößner, head of the Tissue Control of Immunocytes Research Group at the Helmholtz Zentrum München. “But there are ways to support the immune system in recognizing and combating cancer cells.”

Focus on T-cell therapy

One approach is the so-called adoptive T-cell therapy, which involves removing immune cells from the body and genetically arming them. The cells are given new structures on the surface that accurately lead them to the cancer cells.

One limitation in this form of therapy is that the binding between the immune cell and the cancer cell is often somewhat weak. “Although this binding can be artificially strengthened, doing so also increases the risk of unwanted binding to healthy structures in the body,” explains study leader Nößner. She and her team were therefore searching for a different way to improve the defense provided by the immune cells.

Attack instead of sleep mode

In the current work, the researchers present a new surface molecule which comprises two halves. On the outside, it preferentially binds to the PD-L1 molecule, which tumor cells often form in order to thwart the attacking immune cells. On the inside of the T-cells, however, this binding does not activate a sleep mode (which the natural protein would do), and instead activates the T-cell’s killer program, making it especially aggressive. Experimental models showed that T-cells armed in this way proliferate more strongly in the tumors and destroyed more tumor cells.

The next step will be to confirm the findings in clinical studies. “If that step succeeds, the approach would enlarge the arsenal of T-cells suitable for adoptive T-cell therapy,” Elfriede Nößner states. “This could not only make the treatment more effective but would allow it to be used in more patients in the framework of personalized medicine.”


Further Information

The work was the result of close cooperation with the team headed by Dr. Matthias Leisegang from the Institute of Immunology at the Charité Berlin Buch Campus and Prof. Dr. Dolores J. Schendel, CEO and CSO at Medigene AG. The authors Ramona Schlenker, Luis Felipe Olguin Contreras, Anja Disovic and Julia Schnappinger attend the Helmholtz Graduate School Environmental Health, or HELENA for short.

Original Publication:
Schlenker, R. et al. (2017): Chimeric PD-1:28 receptor upgrades low-avidity T cells and restores effector function of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes for adoptive cell therapy. Cancer Research, DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-1922

The Helmholtz Zentrum München, the German Research Center for Environmental Health, pursues the goal of developing personalized medical approaches for the prevention and therapy of major common diseases such as diabetes and lung diseases. To achieve this, it investigates the interaction of genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle. The Helmholtz Zentrum München is headquartered in Neuherberg in the north of Munich and has about 2,300 staff members. It is a member of the Helmholtz Association, a community of 18 scientific-technical and medical-biological research centers with a total of about 37,000 staff members. http://www.helmholtz-muenchen.de/en

Contact for the media:
Department of Communication, Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health, Ingolstädter Landstr. 1, 85764 Neuherberg - Tel. +49 89 3187 2238 - Fax: +49 89 3187 3324 - E-mail: presse@helmholtz-muenchen.de

Scientific Contact:
Prof. Dr. Elfriede Nößner, Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health, Immunoanalytics - Research Group Tissue Control of Immunocytes & Core Facility, Marchioninistr. 25, 81377 München - Tel. +49 89 3187 1303 - E-mail: noessner@helmholtz-muenchen.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.helmholtz-muenchen.de/en/press-media/press-releases/all-press-releases/index.html - read more news of Helmholtz Zentrum München

Sonja Opitz | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht More genes are active in high-performance maize
19.01.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht How plants see light
19.01.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>