Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

‘Killer’ cells used to combat rare cancer

10.09.2002


Scientists from the University of Edinburgh are using immune cells harvested from blood donors to help fight an unusual cancer which can affect transplant patients. And their findings, published recently in The Lancet show that the therapy has proved effective in a number of cases. The treatment proved successful last year in saving the life of a four-year-old boy from Birmingham, who developed the cancer— post-transplant lympho-proliferative disease— following a liver and bowel transplant.



The technique, which involves boosting the patient’s own immune system to fight cancer without affecting the transplanted organ, can also be adapted to treat other virus infections, or AIDS patients who have developed lymphomas.

Clinical research scientist Dr Tanzina Haque explained: “The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a common virus best known for causing glandular fever, and is carried by about 90% of the population, without a problem. When a patient receives an organ transplant, he or she is given immuno-suppressive drugs to stop the body rejecting the organ, but this also lowers their immunity to infections by removing the body’s ’killer’ cells, the cytotoxic T-lymphocytes. If a transplant patient’s immunity is compromised, EBV can infect cells called B-lymphocytes, causing them to grow in an uncontrolled way and become malignant. The resulting cancer can be fatal in up to 70% of cases.”


Dr Haque said that to reduce doses of immuno-suppressive drugs could cause organ transplant rejection, so the Edinburgh team, headed by Professor Dorothy Crawford and backed by funding from Cancer Research UK, devised a method of removing ‘killer’ cells from screened blood donations and tissue-type matching them to transplant patients. Should any patients develop lymphoma, they can be infused with matched cells from the bank containing more than 100 blood donations.

The technique, known as Cytotoxic T-Lymphocyte (CTL) Therapy, has shown to have no adverse side-effects for patients. Results published in The Lancet show of eight patients in the trial who were suitable for treatment, two died, five made a complete recovery, two did not respond and one showed a partial response. Two further patients died before their tumour response could be evaluated.

Dr Haque said this UK-wide multicentre clinical trial could not have been possible without the collaboration of the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, different transplant centers, and the many blood donors who helped by allowing their blood to be used for generating the T-cells.

Linda Menzies | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ed.ac.uk/news/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified
20.02.2017 | Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

nachricht Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain
20.02.2017 | Universität Zürich

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Switched-on DNA

20.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>