Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Changing the timing of cancer vaccines

24.01.2005


A molecule specially modified by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine can reset the biological clock for cancer vaccines, potentially making them more potent.



In a report that appears online today in Nature Medicine, Dr. David Spencer and colleagues describe their method of delaying the time at which crucial dendritic cells are activated by the immune system. This prolongs the time during which the cancer vaccines can undertake their task, he said.

Dendritic cells are important because they present to the immune system the proteins or antigens that cause the immune system to go into action. They are key to cancer vaccines that seek to alert the immune system to presence of cancer by making it aware of tumor antigens or proteins that are unique to that malignancy.


"Once you activate dendritic cells, you turn on a biological clock," said Spencer, an associate professor of immunology at BCM. "Dendritic cells have a finite life span after they are activated."

The makers of cancer vaccines would like to activate the dendritic cells, expose them to the tumor antigens and then reinject them into patients. Once in the body, they would migrate to the lymph nodes where they interact with specific immune system operatives called T-cells, activating them to attack the cancer. However, the process can take as long as a day, reducing the period during which the dendritic cells are active and can accomplish their work.

However, using a drug that results in the linking of two identical molecules (a process called dimerization), Spencer and colleagues found that they could wait until the dendritic cells got to the lymph nodes to activate them. That significantly extends the period during which the cells can remain active and, in turn, activate the immune system’s T-cells.

Spencer steered graduate student Brent Hanks toward manipulating dendritic cells, but credits Hanks with settling upon a molecule called CD40 that could be used to activate the dendritic cells after they reached the lymph nodes.

"This was a key decision, since CD40 is likely the most potent activation molecule on these cells," he said. "Our dendritic cells live longer in the lymph nodes and we think they are more potent when the get there."

"We think because of the special attributes of this approach, it should have a better chance of working in patients whose immune systems are already attenuated by disease or prior treatment and should be complementary to other approaches already out there," said Spencer.

Others who participated included Drs. Kevin M. Slawin, Rana A K Singh, Michael Barry, Jianghong Jiang, and Weitao Song, all of BCM.

Ross Tomlin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bcm.tmc.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University

nachricht The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute

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: 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...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

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

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>