FAU researchers have discovered that tumour cells can hide from antibody therapy in bone marrow
Scientists from the Division of Genetics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) in collaboration with Universitätsklinikum Erlangen have made a breakthrough discovery in cancer research.
For the first time, scientists have been able to simulate the complexity of the human immune system and investigate where cancer cells hide when attacked by the immune system. This research is especially relevant for destroying cancer cells through antibody therapy and shows ways that cancer treatment can be improved today. The researchers recently published their findings in the renowned journal Cell Reports.*
Antibodies that are manufactured specifically to fight cancer cells are an essential part of treating breast cancer and lymphoma. They can detect and mark cancer cells in the body so that the malfunctioning cells can be destroyed by the immune system.
However, some cells may survive attacks by the immune system. In the worst case, this can cause tumours to return. 'A key question in cancer therapy is to find out where tumour cells can hide from the immune system,' states Prof. Dr. Falk Nimmerjahn from the Division of Genetics at FAU. 'If we know the answer to this, we can improve current drugs to target where the malformed cells are hiding'.
Two research teams, one from FAU and the other from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, Cambridge) (Pallasch et al. Cell), have independently made important breakthroughs in this area. Both research teams were able to show that the effects of antibodies used in human cancer therapy are weakened if tumour cells are found in bone marrow.
'This gives us a unique opportunity to find out how we can improve the antibodies currently used in cancer treatment to remove all tumour cells so that there is actually a chance of curing patients,' says Dr. Anja Lux, research team leader, Division of Genetics, FAU. The significance of these findings is demonstrated by the ability of both research teams to simulate the complexity of the human immune system in their experiments which indicates that the results can be applied to humans with a greater probability.
Further preliminary investigations at MIT lead researchers to believe that a combination of chemotherapy and antibody therapy can lead to greater success in destroying cancer cells in bone marrow. This is an interesting preliminary result which the researchers in Erlangen are intending to take a step further.
'Now that we know where the cancer cells are hiding, we can improve antibody therapy to better activate immune cells in the bone marrow,' explains Prof. Nimmerjahn. This will help to avoid the harmful side effects of chemotherapy, reduce risk for patients and increase chances of curing patients.
*Lux et al., Cell Reports 7, 1-13, 2014; doi:
Pallasch et al., Cell 156, 590-602, 2014
Contact for media:
Prof. Dr. Falk Nimmerjahn
Blandina Mangelkramer | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Single atom alloy platinum-copper catalysts cut costs, boost green technology
09.10.2015 | Tufts University
Controllable protein gates deliver on-demand permeability in artificial nanovesicles
09.10.2015 | Universität Basel
Nondestructive material testing (NDT) is a fast and effective way to analyze the quality of a product during the manufacturing process. Because defective materials can lead to malfunctioning finished products, NDT is an essential quality assurance measure, especially in the manufacture of safety-critical components such as automotive B-pillars. NDT examines the quality without damaging the component or modifying the surface of the material. At this year's Blechexpo trade fair in Stuttgart, Fraunhofer IZFP will have an exhibit that demonstrates the nondestructive testing of high-strength automotive body parts using 3MA. The measurement results are available in a matter of seconds.
To minimize vehicle weight and fuel consumption while providing the highest level of crash safety, automotive bodies are reinforced with elements made from...
The MICADO camera, a first light instrument for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), has entered a new phase in the project: by agreeing to a Memorandum of Understanding, the partners in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria, and Italy, have all confirmed their participation. Following this milestone, the project's transition into its preliminary design phase was approved at a kick-off meeting held in Vienna. Two weeks earlier, on September 18, the consortium and the European Southern Observatory (ESO), which is building the telescope, have signed the corresponding collaboration agreement.
As the first dedicated camera for the E-ELT, MICADO will equip the giant telescope with a capability for diffraction-limited imaging at near-infrared...
Self-driving cars will be on our streets in the foreseeable future. In Graz, research is currently dedicated to an innovative driver assistance system that takes over control if there is a danger of collision. It was nature that inspired Dr Manfred Hartbauer from the Institute of Zoology at the University of Graz: in dangerous traffic situations, migratory locusts react around ten times faster than humans. Working together with an interdisciplinary team, Hartbauer is investigating an affordable collision detector that is equipped with artificial locust eyes and can recognise potential crashes in time, during both day and night.
Inspired by insects
An interdisciplinary team of researchers has built the first prototype of a miniature particle accelerator that uses terahertz radiation instead of radio...
At present, tiny magnetic whirls – so called skyrmions – are discussed as promising candidates for bits in future robust and compact data storage devices. At...
01.10.2015 | Event News
30.09.2015 | Event News
17.09.2015 | Event News
09.10.2015 | Earth Sciences
09.10.2015 | Life Sciences
09.10.2015 | Life Sciences