Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New immune therapy shows promise in kidney cancer

05.06.2012
Agent benefits melanoma and lung cancer as well

An antibody that helps a person's own immune system battle cancer cells shows increasing promise in reducing tumors in patients with advanced kidney cancer, according to researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

The results of an expanded Phase 1 trial presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual conference in Chicago, showed that some patients treated with a fully human monoclonal antibody developed by Bristol Myers Squibb had a positive response to the effort by the agent, BMS-936558, to prolong the immune system's efforts to fight off renal cell carcinoma without some of the debilitating side effects common to earlier immunotherapies.

The presentation by David F. McDermott, MD, Director of Biologic Therapy Program at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Cancer Center and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, highlights one of two key efforts underway to use the body's own disease-fighting tools against cancer.

Separate work by David Avigan MD, Director of BIDMC's Blood/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, focuses on developing a personalized vaccine, compromised of the patient's tumor and immune system agents, to battle kidney cancer.

Cancer cells have the ability to trick the immune system, the body's self-defense mechanism, which is designed to ward off infections. Immune therapy such as antibody treatment and vaccines is designed to reeducate the body to recognized cancer as an invader.

"We've known for a long time that in certain cases the immune system can be boosted in a way that can create remissions" of hematologic malignancies like leukemia and lymphoma, says McDermott. "We've been trying to create the same long term results in solid tumors, which is more difficult."

In this trial, the antibody was designed to block the Programmed Death (PD)-1 inhibitory receptor expressed by activated T cells. PD-1 acts a natural shut off valve for T cells. By blocking its action, these cells can be revived to fight cancer. In the initial portion of the trial, the agent showed "promising" activity in patients with various solid tumors, including metastatic renal cell carcinoma, melanoma and lung cancer.

In an expanded trial, patients received up 10 mg/kg of an intravenous treatment twice weekly, followed by 1 mg/kg. Patients received up to 12 cycles of treatment until either progressive disease, unacceptable toxicity or a complete response was detected.

"These antibodies were developed based on an understanding of how the immune system is not well designed to fight cancer," says McDermott. "Your immune system is in place to help fight off infections. So when you have a viral infection, it will turn on in response to that infection and once it's controlled will shut down. The shut off valves, like PD-1, are actually stronger the pathways that turn on the immune system and this makes cancer difficult to control. The new PD-1 blocking antibody prevents this natural shutoff and allows T-cells to recognize and kill tumors."

McDermott noted that unlike current immunotherapies using interleukin-2, patients do not need to be hospitalized and suffer far less significant side effects such as skin rash or nausea.

"We realized that we could this drug at the highest doses without developing many significant or too dangerous side effects," says McDermott. "Once we realized the drug was relatively safe to give, we expanded into larger numbers of patients who seem to be benefiting early on from this treatment."

McDermott cautions that it is too early in a Phase I trial, designed principally to test side effects and the best dosage and schedule of treatment, to draw sweeping conclusions from the results.

"We have seen about 30 percent of the patients with kidney cancer have major responses to this line of treatment. A similar 30 percent of melanoma patients have had major response to treatment and there are much more melanoma patients in this study than kidney cancer patients. And maybe 20 percent or so of patients with lung cancer have had major benefit."

In addition to McDermott, authors include Charles G. Drake, Mario Sznol, Toni K. Choueiri, John Powderly, David C. Smith, Jon Wigginton, Dan McDonald, Georgia Kollia, Ashok Kumar Gupta, and Michael B. Atkins with affiliations that include Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD; Yale Cancer Center, New Haven, CT; Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Carolina Bio-Oncology Institute, Huntersville, NC; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ.

McDermott serves in an advisory role with Bristol Myers Squibb, which provided funding for the study.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and currently ranks third in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide. BIDMC is clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox.

Jerry Berger | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bidmc.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Infants later diagnosed with autism follow adults’ gaze, but seldom initiate joint attention
24.05.2019 | Schwedischer Forschungsrat - The Swedish Research Council

nachricht When wheels and heads are spinning - DFG research project on motion sickness in automated driving
22.05.2019 | Technische Universität Berlin

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: New studies increase confidence in NASA's measure of Earth's temperature

A new assessment of NASA's record of global temperatures revealed that the agency's estimate of Earth's long-term temperature rise in recent decades is accurate to within less than a tenth of a degree Fahrenheit, providing confidence that past and future research is correctly capturing rising surface temperatures.

The most complete assessment ever of statistical uncertainty within the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP) data product shows that the annual values...

Im Focus: The geometry of an electron determined for the first time

Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer. The experiments were published in Physical Review Letters and the related theory in Physical Review B.

The spin of an electron is a promising candidate for use as the smallest information unit (qubit) of a quantum computer. Controlling and switching this spin or...

Im Focus: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

Im Focus: Accelerating quantum technologies with materials processing at the atomic scale

'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.

However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

New system by TU Graz automatically recognises pedestrians’ intent to cross the road

27.05.2019 | Information Technology

On Mars, sands shift to a different drum

24.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Piedmont Atlanta first in Georgia to offer new minimally invasive treatment for emphysema

24.05.2019 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>