Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New research project aims to improve cancer therapies using type I interferons

23.04.2013
German Cancer Aid grants EUR 180,000 in support of a new research project at the Mainz University Medical Center

The immune system plays a decisive role in the fight against tumor cells. However, when tumor cells themselves prevent activation of the immune system, the immune system fails to destroy cancer cells. The cancer drug interferon-α could probably neutralize this blockade. This cytokine is being used successfully to treat various forms of cancer.

However, some patients experience undesirable autoimmune reactions on administration of the drug. The German Cancer Aid (Deutsche Krebshilfe e.V.) is donating EUR 180,000 to fund a research project at the University Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz that is to identify mechanisms underlying the effects of the cancer drug interferon-α (IFN-α) when it comes to fighting cancer cells by means of the blockade of so-called immunological tolerance processes. In addition, the researchers want to discover novel approaches to increase the efficacy of type I interferons in the treatment of cancer.

Interferon-α can trigger autoimmune reactions in patients, i.e., pathological reactions of the immune system. Interferon-α has been seen to date as an active substance that boosts the immune system and fights tumor cells directly. It is used, for example, in the therapy of malignant melanomas, certain forms of leukemia and cutaneous T-cell lymphomas. "The immune system is usually able to effectively destroy cancer cells. At the same time, however, there are also so-called tumor-associated tolerance processes that protect the tumor cells from being destroyed by the immune system.

Autoimmune reactions, which are known side effects of therapies with IFN-α, may indicate that this anti-tumor treatment blocks tolerance mechanisms and thus improves the immune system's natural ability for tumor rejection," explained Professor Dr. Kerstin Steinbrink, senior physician at the Department of Dermatology of the Mainz University Medical Center, which is supervising the research project "Analysis of the Effect of Type I Interferons on Immunological Tolerance Processes" funded by the German Cancer Aid. The purpose of this project is to analyze the effects of IFN-α and other type I interferons on various immune cells that exhibit tolerogenic potential in vitro and also in melanoma patients.

The knowledge gained through this project should contribute to the development of improved therapy strategies for overcoming tolerance mechanisms associated with tumors. An additional objective is to enhance the efficacy of therapy with type I interferons. Steinbrink's research team is looking to reduce potential side effects as much as possible.

"This research project is taking a patient-oriented approach. The research team led by Professor Dr. Kerstin Steinbrink will profit from its expertise in the area of immunological tolerance that it has gained over several years," said Professor Dr. Ulrich Förstermann, Chief Scientific Officer of the Mainz University Medical Center.

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.uni-mainz.de/presse/16329_ENG_HTML.php - press release ;
http://www.unimedizin-mainz.de - Mainz University Medical Center

Petra Giegerich | idw
Further information:
http://www.unimedizin-mainz.de

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Fine organic particles in the atmosphere are more often solid glass beads than liquid oil droplets
21.04.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie

nachricht Study overturns seminal research about the developing nervous system
21.04.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>