Researchers at Western University (London, Canada) have shown how the bacteria primarily responsible for causing strep throat can be used to fight colon cancer.
By engineering a streptococcal bacterial toxin to attach itself to tumour cells, they are forcing the immune system to recognize and attack the cancer.
Western University researchers Dr. David Hess and Dr. John McCormick and lead author Kelcey Patterson show how the bacteria primarily responsible for causing strep throat can be used to fight colon cancer. By engineering a streptococcal bacterial toxin to attach itself to tumor cells, they are forcing the immune system to recognize and attack the cancer.
Credit: Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University
Kelcey Patterson, a PhD Candidate at Western and the lead author on the study, showed that the engineered bacterial toxin could significantly reduce the size of human colon cancer tumours in mice, with a drastic reduction in the instances of metastasis. By using mouse models that are stripped of their immune system, they were able to create a 'humanized mouse' – one that would not only grow human colon cancer cells, but would also support a human immune system, to test the anti-cancer immunotherapy.
The work was directed by John McCormick, PhD, an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Scientist at the Lawson Health Research Institute. "Our team has been studying these bacterial toxins called 'superantigens' for their role in bacterial infections. But we are now utilizing the power of these toxins to re-direct the immune system to go after cancer cells."
McCormick says their research provides important pre-clinical evidence that this may work in humans. "This work represents a 'next-generation immunotoxin' that we hope will eventually lead to a new class of cancer therapeutic."
The research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Jennifer Dixon Pittaro, Peter Bastedo, David Hess and Mansour Haeryfar all contributed to the paper entitled "Control of established colon cancer xenografts using a novel humanized single chain antibody-streptococcal superantigen fusion protein targeting the 5T4 oncofetal antigen."
McCormick and his colleagues have now received a new grant from the Cancer Research Society to develop different toxin and antibody combinations to fight other types of cancer.
Kathy Wallis | Eurek Alert!
Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
19.10.2017 | Life Sciences
19.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research
19.10.2017 | Earth Sciences