Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protein fragment found to help improve chemotherapy

21.05.2003


USC researchers find ways to improve effectiveness against tumors



Researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California have isolated a protein fragment derived from the cancer immunotherapy drug interleukin 2 (IL-2) that seems to enhance the uptake of chemotherapeutic agents into tumors.

In fact, says Alan Epstein, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pathology at the Keck School of Medicine, when this patented protein fragment is attached to a tumor-targeting antibody, it can prompt tumors to soak up more than 300 percent the normal amount of chemotherapy drugs. It does this, Epstein says, by making the tumor’s blood vessel walls more "open" or permeable to the drugs. (Blood vessel walls are made of epithelial cells that are usually tightly joined together; when the junctions between those cells loosen up, it becomes easier for molecules to enter or leave the bloodstream.)


This work was described in a paper being published in the May 21, 2003 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The interleukins are part of a class of proteins called cytokines, which play a role in the human immune response. It’s been hoped that interleukin 2 (IL-2) and its brethren might play a central role in cancer immunotherapy-battling cancer by revving up the immune system. Unfortunately, IL-2 can only be tolerated in small doses by the body. Taken at levels that would take advantage of its therapeutic value, it causes wide-spread edema and other problems due to blood vessel leakiness.

While seeking the cause of this leakiness, Epstein and his Keck School of Medicine colleagues isolated a stretch of 37 amino acids on the IL-2 protein; this sequence, he says, "is responsible for 100 percent of the vasopermeability." Dubbed PEP, for permeability-enhancing peptide, the molecule is now being commercially developed by Peregrine Pharmaceuticals of Tustin, Calif.

Having determined that PEP is indeed a permeability enhancer, Epstein and his colleagues took their exploration a step further: They transplanted mice with human tumor cells and pretreated them with monoclonal antibodies coupled with PEP.

When these mice and control mice were later injected with a radiolabeled tracer antibody or drug, there was a three to four fold increase in the amount of the antibody taken up by the tumors of the pretreated mice than those of the control mice.

"We’ve showed that you can use PEP to induce selective and reversible blood vessel permeability at the tumor site to get better drug uptake," says Epstein. "This may turn out to be a hugely important tool in cancer therapy."

The next step, he says, "is to try to get this product ready to test in human patients."


###
This work was supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute, Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Cancer Therapeutics Laboratories.

Alan L. Epstein, Myra Mizokami, Jiali Li, Peisheng Hu, Leslie A. Khawli, "Identification of a Protein Fragment of Interleukin 2 Responsible for Vasopermeability." Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 95, No. 10, May 21, 2003, pp. 741-749.

Jon Weiner | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.usc.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Hot cars can hit deadly temperatures in as little as one hour
24.05.2018 | Arizona State University

nachricht 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

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: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>