Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Melanoma drug revs immune cells but cancer cells ignore it

04.09.2007
A new study shows that an important drug used in the treatment of malignant melanoma has little effect on the melanoma cells themselves. Instead, it activates immune-system cells to fight the disease.

The drug, called interferon alpha (IFNa), is used to clean up microscopic tumor cells that may remain in the body following surgery for the disease. It is the only drug approved for this purpose.

Researchers say that these findings underscore the need to develop ways to make melanoma cells more vulnerable to the drug, or to overcome the block within the cells that prevents them from responding to it.

The study showed that melanoma cells taken directly from patients, as well as those grown in the laboratory, respond poorly to IFNa, even when the drug is given at very high doses, while immune cells respond well to the same substance.

... more about:
»Cancer »IFNa »immune »immune cell »melanoma

The study, led by researchers with the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, is published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

“IFNa is effective in only 10 to 20 percent of patients, but it's the best therapy available for these patients, and no therapies on the horizon have been proven any more effective,” says principal investigator William E. Carson, III, professor of surgery and a melanoma specialist at Ohio State's James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

“It is critical that we understand exactly how this drug works and learn how to improve its effectiveness.”

IFNa is an immune-system hormone made by the body to help other immune cells recognize and destroy developing tumors. As a drug, the substance is used to treat melanoma and other cancers.

Formerly, it was thought that IFNa acted directly on melanoma-tumor cells to stop their growth. But earlier research by Carson's laboratory and others suggested that the drug has a greater effect on the immune system.

“The present study confirms that earlier work,” says first author Gregory B. Lesinski, a research assistant professor in the department of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics. “The new findings are significant because they confirm that the immune system, and not the tumor cell, is the primary target of IFNa.

“We show for the first time that even normal melanocytes are inherently less responsive to IFNa compared to immune cells.” Melanocytes are the normal cells that, when cancerous, cause melanoma.

“Some unknown factor in melanoma cells seems to turn down their response to IFNa,” Lesinski explains. “We are now trying to understand what that factor might be.”

Funding from the Harry J. Lloyd Charitable Trust, the National Cancer Institute, and The Valvano Foundation for Cancer Research Award supported this research.

Darrell E. Ward | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.osumc.edu

Further reports about: Cancer IFNa immune immune cell melanoma

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover

nachricht First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>