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 Uncuffing nitric oxide production: Beta-arrestin2 complexes regulate NO levels
05.06.2020 | Medical University of South Carolina

nachricht Diabetes mellitus: A risk factor for early colorectal cancer
27.05.2020 | Nationales Centrum für Tumorerkrankungen (NCT) Heidelberg

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: Restoring vision by gene therapy

Latest scientific findings give hope for people with incurable retinal degeneration

Humans rely dominantly on their eyesight. Losing vision means not being able to read, recognize faces or find objects. Macular degeneration is one of the major...

Im Focus: Small Protein, Big Impact

In meningococci, the RNA-binding protein ProQ plays a major role. Together with RNA molecules, it regulates processes that are important for pathogenic properties of the bacteria.

Meningococci are bacteria that can cause life-threatening meningitis and sepsis. These pathogens use a small protein with a large impact: The RNA-binding...

Im Focus: K-State study reveals asymmetry in spin directions of galaxies

Research also suggests the early universe could have been spinning

An analysis of more than 200,000 spiral galaxies has revealed unexpected links between spin directions of galaxies, and the structure formed by these links...

Im Focus: New measurement exacerbates old problem

Two prominent X-ray emission lines of highly charged iron have puzzled astrophysicists for decades: their measured and calculated brightness ratios always disagree. This hinders good determinations of plasma temperatures and densities. New, careful high-precision measurements, together with top-level calculations now exclude all hitherto proposed explanations for this discrepancy, and thus deepen the problem.

Hot astrophysical plasmas fill the intergalactic space, and brightly shine in stellar coronae, active galactic nuclei, and supernova remnants. They contain...

Im Focus: Biotechnology: Triggered by light, a novel way to switch on an enzyme

In living cells, enzymes drive biochemical metabolic processes enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very ability which allows them to be used as catalysts in biotechnology, for example to create chemical products such as pharmaceutics. Researchers now identified an enzyme that, when illuminated with blue light, becomes catalytically active and initiates a reaction that was previously unknown in enzymatics. The study was published in "Nature Communications".

Enzymes: they are the central drivers for biochemical metabolic processes in every living cell, enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium AWK'21 will take place on June 10 and 11, 2021

07.04.2020 | Event News

International Coral Reef Symposium in Bremen Postponed by a Year

06.04.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

New image of a cancer-related enzyme in action helps explain gene regulation

05.06.2020 | Life Sciences

Silicon 'neurons' may add a new dimension to computer processors

05.06.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Protecting the Neuronal Architecture

05.06.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>