Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Donor immune cells attack metastatic breast cancer


In patients with metastatic breast cancer, immune cells from a genetically matched donor can attack and shrink tumors, researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) announced today at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago. This is the first time researchers have clearly demonstrated this type of immune response, known as a graft-versus-tumor effect, acting against breast cancer.

"Graft-versus-tumor effects have been shown to be useful in treating cancers of the blood, such as leukemia and lymphoma. Breast cancer, however, has generally been resistant to immune-based therapies," said Michael Bishop, M.D., of NCI’s Center for Cancer Research, the lead author on the study. "Although the tumors of patients in this study were not completely eliminated by the treatment, the responses we saw provide hope that immunotherapies for breast cancer are worth pursuing."

Tumor regression has been observed in the past in some patients with metastatic breast cancer who received stem cell transplants, but it was unclear whether immune cells had attacked the tumor or the tumor was shrinking in response to chemotherapy drugs administered prior to the transplant. The design of this clinical trial, however, allowed researchers to attribute tumor regression to a true graft-versus-tumor effect.

Each of the 13 patients in the Phase I trial had received multiple previous treatments for metastatic breast cancer. In the study, patients first received conventional doses of chemotherapy to kill cancer cells and reduce the cells in their immune system so that donor cells could replace them. They then received stem cells from the blood of HLA-matched siblings. HLA-matched donor cells, which have the same set of proteins (known as human leukocyte-associated antigens) on their surface as the patient’s own cells, are much more likely to be accepted by the patient’s body.

T cells, specialized immune cells that recognize and kill foreign cells that have invaded the body, were removed from the pool of donated stem cells prior to transplant. These T cells were given to patients later, in an initial infusion 42 days after stem cell transplant, then in two follow-up infusions over the next two months. Because T cells were not given immediately following chemotherapy, researchers were able to attribute any tumor cell death to the transplanted T cells rather than to anti-tumor effects of the chemotherapy drugs.

In four patients, tumors shrunk at least 50 percent in response to the treatment. A minor response was seen in three of the other patients. Although not all patients in the study responded to treatment, and none of the tumors was eliminated entirely, the results of the trial provide evidence that transplanted T cells can attack tumors in patients with metastatic breast cancer. Researchers are optimistic that further study could lead to effective immunotherapies for these patients.

NCI Press Office | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

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: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

A new kind of quantum bits in two dimensions

19.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists have a new way to gauge the growth of nanowires

19.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>