Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UWE helps fight leukaemia with research into ‘natural killer’ cells

08.03.2006


Scientists at the University of the West of England and the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at the Bristol Children’s Hospital have just won funding for a two-year project aimed at improving the outcome of bone marrow stem-cell transplants in young leukaemia patients.



After a stem cell transplant there is a significant risk that grafted donor white blood cells, known as T-cells, will attack the recipient and may cause a fatal complication called graft versus host disease (GvHD). In Bristol a monoclonal antibody called Campath is used to kill donor T-cells, reducing the chance of GvHD. A side effect of Campath therapy is delayed recovery of the immune system after the transplant which may be associated with leukaemic relapse.

UWE vice-chancellor Sir Howard Newby commented:


“Medical research is important to us all and especially to children. Basic scientific research cannot guarantee cures but in the longer term this important study could help children unfortunate enough to have to undergo a transplant and their families and friends. This award is evidence of the excellence of scientific research in our city.”

The UWE project will monitor the patient’s immune system to see how quickly it recovers following transplantation. In particular, the researchers are focussing on the role played by ‘natural killer T-cells’ (NKT-cells), which form a tiny but important population of white cells present in the blood of normal individuals including stem cell donors. The UWE group hypothesise that NKT-cells play a vital role killing remaining leukaemic cells in the patient’s system after the transplant thus leading to a higher probability of cure.

After an initial year of successful investigations researchers at UWE have discovered that NKT-cells possess the target antigen for Campath, already known to be present on the surface of T-cells. This means that unfortunately NKT-cells are also likely to be removed by Campath treatment. To investigate this important observation further the UWE researchers have just been awarded £97,000 additional funding by the charity CHILDREN with LEUKAEMIA.

Project leader Dr Craig Donaldson explains: “Initially, the treatment with Campath means the graft ‘takes’ better but unfortunately a significant proportion of transplant patients relapse over time and eventually die of leukemia. An important part of this project is to study the rate of repopulation of vital NKT-cells in patients who have received Campath treated grafts in comparison with patients who do not receive Campath treatment.”

“Patients who have consented to take part in this study will have a research blood sample taken at the same as their routine blood tests before transplant and at 3, 6 and 12 months after transplant. When the stem cell donor is a family member they will also be asked whether they wish to participate by consenting to having a research blood sample being taken when they attend the transplant unit for their routine pre-transplant blood check.”

The Bone Marrow Transplant unit based in the Paul O’Gorman wing of the new Bristol Children’s Hospital has an international reputation for developing novel methods of improving the results of stem cell transplants in young patients with leukaemia. Laboratory studies are being carried out at the Centre for Research in Biomedicine at the University of the West of England by Barbara Rees under the supervision of Dr Craig Donaldson and Professor Jill Hows.

Lesley Drake | alfa
Further information:
http://www.uwe.ac.uk
http://www.leukaemia.org/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Designer cells: artificial enzyme can activate a gene switch
22.05.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Flow of cerebrospinal fluid regulates neural stem cell division
22.05.2018 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Designer cells: artificial enzyme can activate a gene switch

22.05.2018 | Life Sciences

PR of MCC: Carbon removal from atmosphere unavoidable for 1.5 degree target

22.05.2018 | Earth Sciences

Achema 2018: New camera system monitors distillation and helps save energy

22.05.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>