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
The world's tiniest first responders
21.06.2018 | University of Southern California
A new toxin in Cholera bacteria discovered by scientists in Umeå
21.06.2018 | Schwedischer Forschungsrat - The Swedish Research Council
In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.
Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...
Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
21.06.2018 | Earth Sciences
21.06.2018 | Life Sciences
21.06.2018 | Earth Sciences