Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Stanford study finds new method improves chemotherapy survival in mice

16.12.2004


Seeking to find a way to lessen patients’ vulnerability to deadly infections following chemotherapy, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have figured out a way to boost the immune function in animals following such treatments. Their approach involves increasing the pool of cells that give rise to neutrophils, a type of white blood cell that is critical for fighting bacterial and fungal infections but is particularly ravaged by chemotherapy.

"Our approach hadn’t been studied before, which is interesting because it’s a very straightforward concept," said study leader Janice "Wes" Brown, MD, assistant professor of medicine in the divisions of bone marrow transplantation and infectious diseases.

The team reported that an infusion of a type of bone marrow cell from a donor mouse yielded significantly more neutrophils in the laboratory mice a week after a dose of a typical chemotherapeutic agent. The procedure also increased the animals’ ability to fight a deadly fungal infection. The team’s findings appear in the Dec. 15 issue of the journal Blood.



The condition in which neutrophils are lacking is known as neutropenia. It is the leading cause of death among cancer patients that is not related to their tumor. Because of the seriousness of the condition, doctors will reduce chemotherapy doses if they notice an infection developing in the early phases of the disease, which can decrease the efficacy of the cancer treatment. Additionally, resulting fevers and infections during neutropenia must be fought with antibiotics and antifungals, which can be toxic and spur resistance.

"Clinicians see neutropenia all the time and follow the usual protocols of antibiotics and antifungals," said Brown, who is the sole infectious disease consultant for the bone marrow transplantation division. "We thought, ’Why are we just waiting for the neutropenia to resolve or for the patient to develop an infection? Why don’t we try to prevent it?’"

Brown’s group sought to circumvent the problem by adding more of one type of cell-the myeloid progenitor. This cell can follow several routes of development. They can turn into red blood cells, platelets or neutrophils. Using the progenitor cells seems to be more effective than using mature neutrophils, the researchers said.

The researchers gave a single dose of the chemotherapeutic agent 5-fluorouracil to mice, and the next day gave some of the mice an infusion of purified myeloid progenitor cells. They then exposed all of the mice to a fungus that had killed a chemotherapy patient.

One week later, researchers found that the mice treated with the cellular boost had significantly more neutrophils in their spleens, blood and bone marrow than the ones that had not received the infusion. More than half of the treated mice survived, while only a third of the ones without it did.

The study follows on the heels of earlier work by Brown and her team on the effectiveness of this strategy following radiation treatment. That earlier research also showed that the use of myeloid progenitors improved the ability of the mice to survive exposure to a fungus as well as a bacterial infection.

Brown’s group is now looking at combining cellular infusion with clinical strategies of using antifungals or growth factors to stimulate increases in neutrophil numbers. So far in animal studies, she said, it looks like the therapies merge well and will add together for more effective protection.

Brown noted that the use of the myeloid progenitor cells may be preferential to using mature neutrophils for at least two reasons. First, the myeloid progenitors give rise to a broader spectrum of cells, including platelets and red blood cells, which is helpful in restoring normal blood functions. And second, the myeloid progenitors can survive freezing and thus can be more readily available for treatment. By contrast, the mature cells must be infused immediately into a patient following the collection period, which typically takes four hours per session.

"And the good thing is that we have readily isolated these cells from blood samples from donors and patients," Brown said, "so collection of these cells for clinical use doesn’t require the development of new technology."

Mitzi Baker | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.stanford.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Researchers simplify tiny structures' construction drip by drip
12.11.2018 | Princeton University, Engineering School

nachricht Mandibular movement monitoring may help improve oral sleep apnea devices
06.11.2018 | Elsevier

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Massive impact crater from a kilometer-wide iron meteorite discovered in Greenland

15.11.2018 | Earth Sciences

When electric fields make spins swirl

15.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Discovery of a cool super-Earth

15.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>