The protein called mesothelin appears to play an important role in promoting pancreatic cancer growth, said the senior author Dr. Qizhi (Cathy) Yao, professor of surgery – vascular surgery at BCM. She, along with co-lead authors Dr. Min Li, assistant professor of surgery, and research associate Dr. Uddalak Bharadwaj carried out the studies of the protein that is found on the tumor cells’ surface.
“Mesothelin is found in other cancers for several years,” said Yao, also a researcher in the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at BCM. “However, we didn’t know the role it played in pancreatic cancer:” until she and her colleagues reported in this article. In fact, they found very high levels of mesothelin in 18 of 21 samples of patient’s pancreatic tissues compared to amounts found in nearby normal tissues. In studies of this protein in the lab, pancreatic cancer cell lines that produced high levels of mesothelin grew faster and spread more than those in which mesothelin levels were lower.
Pancreatic cancer cells grew and spread faster in mice whose tumors expressed high levels of mesothelin than in those whose cancer did not, said the researchers, who conducted the studies in an immune deficient mouse.
“We saw this molecule as very significant in the life of the tumor cells,” Yao said. “Our next step is to identify whether this would be a good active immunotherapy target.”
Making a treatment vaccine of virus-like particles (VLPs) that contained mesothelin, researchers injected mice having pancreatic cancer with this vaccine three times. Virus-like particles have the unique property of inducing protective immune responses but they lack the infectious capacities of the original virus.
Tumor growth in the immunized mice slowed and in some cases the tumor disappeared. The average life span for the mice not treated was four weeks. The immunized mice survived five weeks longer than those not treated.
Researchers found that the immunization works by suppressing production of key immune system cells that suppress the body’s ability to fight the tumor. The researchers said pancreatic cancers produce these cells, called T regulatory cells, as a protective measure.
“If we are able to see the same results in humans, this would allow us to incorporate a combination therapy to treat the tumor,” Yao said. “Treatment with a single drug is not effective.”
Yao and her colleagues are seeking U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to begin studies using their vaccination on people suffering from pancreatic cancer.
What happens in the cell nucleus after fertilization
06.12.2016 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt
Researchers uncover protein-based “cancer signature”
05.12.2016 | Universität Basel
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:...
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...
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...
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...
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,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
06.12.2016 | Materials Sciences
06.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering