Drugs that contain antibodies are a standard part of therapy for many cancers, but these antibodies do not always work. A finding by researchers with the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa may help make the antibodies more effective by boosting the power of white blood cells, which play a role in fighting cancer.
One way that antibodies ideally function is to stick to cancer cells and signal various types of white blood cells to kill the cancer cells. The UI Holden Center team and colleagues used mouse cell lines that mimic human conditions to learn how different types of white blood cells work with antibodies and contribute to killing cancer cells. The team used different classes of an immune stimulant known as CpG ODN (CpG oligodeoxynucleotide) to encourage different types of white blood cells, either separately or together, to work with antibodies to kill cancer.
The new information could help doctors make antibodies more effective by providing a way to gear up specific types of white blood cells -- natural killer cells and granulocytes -- at the same time that patients receive a dose of anti-cancer antibodies, said George Weiner, M.D., UI professor of internal medicine, director of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center and principal investigator for the study. The findings appear in the Sept. 1 issue of the journal Cancer Research.
Becky Soglin | EurekAlert!
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