Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pioneering the basics for new kind of cancer vaccine

02.08.2004


Mayo Clinic and British researchers have developed a new approach to cancer vaccines that purposely kills healthy skin cells to target the immune system against tumors. The new approach has eradicated skin cancer tumors in mice. The approach and results challenge conventional thinking on the creation of cancer vaccines. Their report on the "heat shock" vaccine therapy appears in the August issue of Nature Biotechnology, Results are promising because multiple rounds of treatment eradicated skin cancer in all the mice in the study. If this work can be extended to humans, it could have enormous benefits. Skin cancer is currently the most common form of cancer in the United States, with an estimated one million new cases diagnosed annually.


Significance of the Mayo Clinic Research

Normally, the destruction of healthy cells is undesirable. For example, in toxic conventional chemotherapies for cancer, the goal is to kill cancer cells and spare healthy cells. This new approach is significant for two reasons:

1) It turns the death of healthy cells into a therapeutic advantage by inflicting a stress known as "inflammatory cell death" on skin cells to which researchers attached a protein involved in heat shock. Researchers were able to trigger a healing immune response aimed at the skin cancer tumors. The response was so strong it eradicated the tumors.



2) Researchers avoided triggering autoimmune attacks, which are a common disabling side effect of most cancer vaccine attempts. In autoimmune attacks the body attacks and injures itself -- instead of the cancer. This new approach appears to breach a major obstacle to advancing cancer vaccine research from the laboratory into human trials.

"We’re very encouraged by these results because our main interest is in generating cancer vaccines that will stimulate the immune system to recognize tumors and eradicate them. We hope our novel approach will be a more specific, and therefore gentler therapy for patients,’’ says Mayo immunologist and lead researcher Richard Vile, Ph.D.

Background

To test the idea that killing normal cells might trigger a specific immune system response, the team chose normal skins cells called melanocytes that are involved in the highly lethal cancer malignant melanoma. The researchers created a molecular scout to home in on and kill some of the melanocytes in mice. To the molecular scout they attached an unusual protein, called heat shock protein 70, or hsp70. It normally is not present in healthy cells, but when cells die under certain conditions, they release hsp70. "It’s a danger-signal system that the body is in trouble," says Dr. Vile. "We hoped to trigger an anti-tumor response."

The unanticipated result was a two-step reaction with promising traits that may one day help skin cancer patients. In the first step, the heat shock protein recruited T cells -- the main warriors of the immune system -- that attacked melanocytes. The T cells killed all tumors in the mice.

Researchers also questioned whether a raging T-cell attack might prompt autoimmune disease. The immune system apparently anticipated that. In response to the vaccine, it sent out regulatory T cells to calm down the first group of fighting T cells.

Says Dr. Vile: "The nice twist is that originally we thought we would generate a very potent autoimmune disease before we killed the tumor. But we found just the opposite. What happens is that you get a burst of T cells that kill the melanoma, and then they are suppressed by regulatory T cells in the mouse before they cause autoimmune disease."

For humans, this is good news. "This is very hopeful because we think in the clinic there are good chances we can control anti-tumor effects before we get to the autoimmune problems," says Dr. Vile.

The Next Step

The researchers will pursue two basic paths. One will extend the current work on a heat shock vaccine to other tissue and tumor types to determine its effectiveness against breast, lung or prostate cancers. The other is to test this immunotherapy in clinical trials with humans.

Bob Nellis | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mayo.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution
09.12.2016 | Veterans Affairs Research Communications

nachricht Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State

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: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>