Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Improving the potential of cancer vaccines

29.08.2005


A special stretch of genetic material may turn off the immune suppression that stymies attempts to fight cancer with a vaccine, said researchers at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) at Houston.



In a report in today’s issue of the journal Science, Dr. Rong-Fu Wang, a professor in the BCM Center for Cell and Gene Therapy and Department of Immunology, and his colleagues describe a new strategy to turn off the function of a special group of T cells to suppress immune response to tumors and even infectious diseases.

"Since 1995, many groups have tried to develop a vaccine for the treatment of cancer," said Wang, also a member of the faculty of the BCM Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. "The only problem is that after 10 years of clinical trials, the data suggest that you can induce (cancer) antigen-specific immune responses, but such responses are too weak and transient to eradicate tumor cells."


The answer lies in a group of cells called CD4+ regulatory T cells (Treg for short). These cells have the ability to suppress the body’s natural immune response. If they are depleted, autoimmune diseases will result because the immune system is unchecked and goes on to attack the body’s own tissues.

His group previously reported the existence of tumor-specific Treg cells at tumor sites. "Thus, the tumor cells use these Treg cells to protect themselves," said Wang. "In fact, tumor cells can actively recruit and activate them to turn on their immune suppressive function."

One way to stop this action is to simply wipe out the cells with chemoagents or a specific antibody.

"But you may also deplete the good cells needed for fighting cancer," said Wang.

He and his group identified particular ligands (a special stretch of guanosine-containing DNA material) that can bind specifically to a particular receptor called human Toll-like receptor 8 and then turn off the suppressive function of Treg cells.

Treatment of Treg cells with these ligands converts suppressive Treg cells into non-suppressive T cells.

"In fact, in some cases, this treatment actually enhanced anti-tumor immunity," he said.

He hopes that clinical trials with these special ligands in patients with cancer can get underway quickly.

"It could have a huge impact on cancer therapy or treatment of infectious disease," said Wang. "It could boost response to cancer vaccine as well."

Ross Tomlin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bcm.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Molecular Force Sensors
20.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

nachricht Foster tadpoles trigger parental instinct in poison frogs
20.09.2017 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>