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 A 'half-hearted' solution to one-sided heart failure
24.11.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

nachricht New study points the way to therapy for rare cancer that targets the young
22.11.2017 | Rockefeller University

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: New proton record: Researchers measure magnetic moment with greatest possible precision

High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons

The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

IceCube experiment finds Earth can block high-energy particles from nuclear reactions

24.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 'half-hearted' solution to one-sided heart failure

24.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

Heidelberg Researchers Study Unique Underwater Stalactites

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>