Higher blood levels of an immune system protein predict poor survival prospects for melanoma patients with advanced disease, researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center report today at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.
Their finding that elevated levels of interleukin-12 (IL-12) are a marker of poor prognosis also points to a molecular explanation for a long-known risk factor for melanoma patients - older age.
Among 150 patients with Stage III melanoma, the study found that the highest levels of IL-12 are associated with a nearly 5-fold risk of death. Although older stage III patients also had an elevated risk of death, age was not a prognostic factor independent of IL-12.
"Melanoma in some cases can be vulnerable to attack by a patient's immune system," said senior researcher Jeffrey Lee, M. D., professor in M. D. Anderson's Department of Surgical Oncology. "What we've found could be evidence of a dysfunctional immune response that actually fuels the growth of melanoma."
Blood-born IL-12 provides both an accessible prognostic marker and a key connection to other signaling proteins; IL-12 as well as these related proteins already have been targeted by antibody therapies in certain autoimmune disorders, Lee said.
The research team examined age, stage of disease, and IL-12 levels in 658 melanoma patients - 445 with stage I or II disease, 150 with stage 3 and 63 at stage IV.
"First, we found that IL-12 levels increase with age," says first author and study presenter Yun Shin Chun, M.D. The mean levels of the protein increased at every age level above age 40. (See Chart)
Age, disease stage and IL-12 levels were then analyzed separately as prognostic factors. Increases in all three were associated with poor overall survival.
"When we analyzed these three factors together, only stage of disease and IL-12 levels were independent predictors of overall survival," Chun said. Age dropped completely out of the picture. Stage of disease was the most powerful prognostic factor.
Both IL-12 and IL-23 are cytokines, proteins that tell cells and other proteins what to do. Cytokines like IL-12 and IL-23 are particularly vital to immune system function. The general level of a person's immune function declines with age, Lee said, as do the levels of most cytokines. The rise of IL-12p40 with age is a relative anomaly.
Chun, Lee and colleagues are investigating IL-12's connection to the tumor promoting IL-23 and about 30 other cytokines in high-risk melanoma patients. Some of the suspect cytokines, including IL-12 and IL-23, already are targeted by therapies used autoimmune disease, Lee noted.Age Mean level of
Co-authors with Chun and Lee are Yuling Wang, Amy Vo, Huey Liu, Daniel Wang, Jeffrey Gershenwald, Janice Cormier, Merrick Ross, Christopher Schacherer and Dana McClain, all of M. D. Anderson's Department of Surgical Oncology; and John Reveille, of the Department of Internal Medicine, division of Rheumatology, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
Scott Merville | EurekAlert!
Nanoparticle Exposure Can Awaken Dormant Viruses in the Lungs
16.01.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt
Cholera bacteria infect more effectively with a simple twist of shape
13.01.2017 | Princeton University
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration
"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...
Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.
Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
16.01.2017 | Information Technology
16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering