Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Combination Peptide Therapies Might Offer More Effective, Less Toxic Cancer Treatment

17.08.2012
Tiny fragments of proteins called peptides potentially offer an effective, safer, way to prevent or treat cancer.

These two studies examine a peptide vaccine and a peptide therapeutic together and with a common chemotherapy drug in breast-cancer models.

The two agents delayed cancer onset and progression when given together and in combination with the chemotherapy drug.

Two studies suggest that two peptide agents used either together or individually with a low-dose of a standard chemotherapy drug might offer more effective cancer therapy than current standard single-drug treatments.

The studies used animal models of breast cancer to show that the peptide combinations dramatically delay tumor onset and progression by both inhibiting tumor growth and blocking the formation of new tumor blood vessels, say researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James). In addition, the treatments caused few side effects.

The findings are described in two papers published online in the journal OncoImmunology. The first paper describes how vaccination with a HER2 peptide followed by treatment with a VEGF peptide inhibitor prevents tumor formation in a transplantable mammary tumor model. The second paper documents how either HER2 peptide or VEGF peptide treatment combined with low-dose paclitaxel effectively kills tumor cells in both the transplantable tumor model and a transgenic mammary tumor model.

“For treating cancer, combination therapies are much more effective than individual therapies, and peptides in combination, whether by vaccination or as therapy, appear to be safer, nontoxic, and taking us closer to a cure,” says principle investigator Dr. Pravin Kaumaya, director of the division of vaccine development at the OSUCCC – James.

Kaumaya, who is a professor of obstetrics and gynecology, of molecular and cellular biochemistry, and of microbiology at Ohio State, led the research that developed the peptide agents. Peptides are short chains of amino acids, and the HER2 peptide and VEGF peptide are short amino-acid chains that mimic full-length HER2 and VEGF molecules.

The HER2 receptor molecule is important for controlling tumor growth in many cancers; the VEGF receptor molecule controls the formation of new blood vessels needed to feed tumors. Both molecules are overexpressed in many cancers.

In the new studies, the researchers investigated whether the peptide vaccine and the peptide inhibitor worked more effectively in combination, and also whether they could synergize with a standard chemotherapy agent, paclitaxel.

The HER2 peptide vaccine is injected into the body where it causes the immune system to generate antibodies to the HER2 receptor. These antibodies then bind to the overexpressed HER2 receptors on cancer cells, preventing them from stimulating tumor-cell proliferation. The VEGF therapeutic peptide binds directly to the VEGF receptor molecule, preventing it from directing the formation of new blood vessels.
In the first paper, the team shows that vaccinating mice with the HER2 peptide before aggressive mammary cancer cells are transplanted into the mice can delay the onset of the tumors. When this vaccination treatment was combined with weekly treatments of the VEGF peptide, tumor growth was significantly delayed. In animals given the VEGF peptide, which is engineered not to break down in the body, 40 percent of the animals did not develop tumors at all by the end of the experiment.

In theory, Kaumaya explains, such a peptide vaccine could prevent HER2-driven breast cancer from developing in a daughter who inherited the genetic risk for this cancer from her mother. “We could vaccinate a person who doesn’t have the cancer and create a memory for HER2 overexpression in her immune system,” he says. “Then, when a tumor starts growing and over-expressing HER2, it would crank up her immune system to produce antibodies to shut the cancer down.” This study’s results suggest that adding VEGF peptide therapy might halt tumor progression altogether.

The second paper lays groundwork for testing peptide therapies in clinical trials. These experiments tested whether the HER2 peptide vaccine or the VEGF peptide therapy would boost the effectiveness of paclitaxel, a standard chemotherapy drug, when the drug is used at low dose to reduce its toxicity.

“We know from other people’s work that treating patients with a low-dose chemotherapy agent like paclitaxel primes the system to be more responsive to other targeted treatments,” Kaumaya says. Indeed, the team showed that both peptide treatments used individually with paclitaxel delayed tumor growth and development and produced better response rates than either agent without the drug in both transplanted and transgenic mouse breast cancer models.

Importantly, the combined therapies showed no toxic side effects. In contrast, paclitaxel and the current standard anti-HER2 therapy, trastuzumab, both had toxic effects on the heart.

“Our goal is to find a cure by interfering with various cancer-cell pathways using medicines that are not toxic,” Kaumaya says.

Funding from the NIH/National Cancer Institute (grant CA084356) supported this research.

Other Ohio State researchers involved in the two studies were Kevin Foy, Megan Miller, Nicanor Moldovan, Tatjana Bozanovic, and William E. Carson, III.

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute strives to create a cancer-free world by integrating scientific research with excellence in education and patient-centered care, a strategy that leads to better methods of prevention, detection and treatment. Ohio State is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers and one of only seven centers funded by the NCI to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical trials. The NCI recently rated Ohio State’s cancer program as “exceptional,” the highest rating given by NCI survey teams. As the cancer program’s 210-bed adult patient-care component, The James is a “Top Hospital” as named by the Leapfrog Group and one of the top cancer hospitals in the nation as ranked by U.S.News & World Report.

A high quality JPEG of Pravin Kaumaya, PhD, is available here.

Contact: Darrell E. Ward, Medical Center Public Affairs and Media Relations,
614-293-3737, or Darrell.Ward@osumc.edu

Darrell E. Ward | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.osumc.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | 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

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>