Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New approach in T-cell therapy to treat cancer

08.06.2017

Scientists have armed immune cells with a new surface molecule. This causes the cells to respond particularly aggressively when they encounter a protein that tumors actually use to camouflage themselves from the immune system. Researchers from the Helmholtz Zentrum München and various partners introduced the method in ‘Cancer Research’.

With numerous different entities and millions of people affected, cancer continues to be one of the most prevalent diseases around the world. Scientists are working to find new treatment possibilities, and have been concentrating on the body’s own immune system for some time.


T cells attack a tumor cell and secrete lytic proteins (red/yellow) in order to destroy it.

Source: Helmholtz Zentrum München

“Because cancer emerges from the body’s own cells, it is usually difficult for the immune system to distinguish good cells from bad ones,” explains Prof. Dr. Elfriede Nößner, head of the Tissue Control of Immunocytes Research Group at the Helmholtz Zentrum München. “But there are ways to support the immune system in recognizing and combating cancer cells.”

Focus on T-cell therapy

One approach is the so-called adoptive T-cell therapy, which involves removing immune cells from the body and genetically arming them. The cells are given new structures on the surface that accurately lead them to the cancer cells.

One limitation in this form of therapy is that the binding between the immune cell and the cancer cell is often somewhat weak. “Although this binding can be artificially strengthened, doing so also increases the risk of unwanted binding to healthy structures in the body,” explains study leader Nößner. She and her team were therefore searching for a different way to improve the defense provided by the immune cells.

Attack instead of sleep mode

In the current work, the researchers present a new surface molecule which comprises two halves. On the outside, it preferentially binds to the PD-L1 molecule, which tumor cells often form in order to thwart the attacking immune cells. On the inside of the T-cells, however, this binding does not activate a sleep mode (which the natural protein would do), and instead activates the T-cell’s killer program, making it especially aggressive. Experimental models showed that T-cells armed in this way proliferate more strongly in the tumors and destroyed more tumor cells.

The next step will be to confirm the findings in clinical studies. “If that step succeeds, the approach would enlarge the arsenal of T-cells suitable for adoptive T-cell therapy,” Elfriede Nößner states. “This could not only make the treatment more effective but would allow it to be used in more patients in the framework of personalized medicine.”


Further Information

The work was the result of close cooperation with the team headed by Dr. Matthias Leisegang from the Institute of Immunology at the Charité Berlin Buch Campus and Prof. Dr. Dolores J. Schendel, CEO and CSO at Medigene AG. The authors Ramona Schlenker, Luis Felipe Olguin Contreras, Anja Disovic and Julia Schnappinger attend the Helmholtz Graduate School Environmental Health, or HELENA for short.

Original Publication:
Schlenker, R. et al. (2017): Chimeric PD-1:28 receptor upgrades low-avidity T cells and restores effector function of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes for adoptive cell therapy. Cancer Research, DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-1922

The Helmholtz Zentrum München, the German Research Center for Environmental Health, pursues the goal of developing personalized medical approaches for the prevention and therapy of major common diseases such as diabetes and lung diseases. To achieve this, it investigates the interaction of genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle. The Helmholtz Zentrum München is headquartered in Neuherberg in the north of Munich and has about 2,300 staff members. It is a member of the Helmholtz Association, a community of 18 scientific-technical and medical-biological research centers with a total of about 37,000 staff members. http://www.helmholtz-muenchen.de/en

Contact for the media:
Department of Communication, Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health, Ingolstädter Landstr. 1, 85764 Neuherberg - Tel. +49 89 3187 2238 - Fax: +49 89 3187 3324 - E-mail: presse@helmholtz-muenchen.de

Scientific Contact:
Prof. Dr. Elfriede Nößner, Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health, Immunoanalytics - Research Group Tissue Control of Immunocytes & Core Facility, Marchioninistr. 25, 81377 München - Tel. +49 89 3187 1303 - E-mail: noessner@helmholtz-muenchen.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.helmholtz-muenchen.de/en/press-media/press-releases/all-press-releases/index.html - read more news of Helmholtz Zentrum München

Sonja Opitz | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht UNH researchers create a more effective hydrogel for healing wounds
21.11.2018 | University of New Hampshire

nachricht Removing toxic mercury from contaminated water
21.11.2018 | Chalmers University of Technology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First diode for magnetic fields

Innsbruck quantum physicists have constructed a diode for magnetic fields and then tested it in the laboratory. The device, developed by the research groups led by the theorist Oriol Romero-Isart and the experimental physicist Gerhard Kirchmair, could open up a number of new applications.

Electric diodes are essential electronic components that conduct electricity in one direction but prevent conduction in the opposite one. They are found at the...

Im Focus: Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines

Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.

Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | 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

 
Latest News

Removing toxic mercury from contaminated water

21.11.2018 | Life Sciences

New China and US studies back use of pulse oximeters for assessing blood pressure

21.11.2018 | Medical Engineering

Exoplanet stepping stones

21.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>