Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cancer drug shows promise for treating graft-versus-host disease

11.07.2008
HDAC inhibitors may provide novel way to treat major complication of bone marrow transplants, as well as autoimmune diseases

A new University of Michigan study in mice suggests that a drug recently approved to fight cancer tumors is also able to reduce the effects of graft-versus-host disease, a common and sometimes fatal complication for people who have had bone marrow transplants.

Plans are under way at U-M for an initial trial of the drug in people as a new way to prevent graft-versus-host disease. Researchers expect to begin a trial within a year.

The U-M scientists tested the effects of the drug SAHA, as well as another member of a group of drugs known as HDAC inhibitors, on key immune system cells called dendritic cells. In mice, both drugs were able to significantly diminish the destructive inflammatory effects that these cells cause in graft-versus-host disease.

Graft-versus-host disease occurs when immune cells in the transplanted bone marrow mount a misguided attack on body tissues. If HDAC inhibitors turn out to be safe and effective in people, they might offer a treatment option preferable to the immunosuppressant drugs used now to treat the disease. These leave people vulnerable to infection and have other significant side effects.

"To make bone marrow transplants more effective, we need better control of the very powerful reactions between the immune systems of the donor and recipient. This study shows how drugs like SAHA regulate those reactions, and takes us a major step closer to bringing this new approach to patients who need transplants," says James L.M. Ferrara, M.D., director of the U-M Combined Bone Marrow Transplant Program and a senior author on the study. Ferrara is also professor of internal medicine and pediatric and communicable diseases at U-M.

"These HDAC inhibitors were thought to just kill cancer cells, but at lower doses, it's possible they can modulate a number of immune diseases," says Pavan Reddy, M.D., the study's lead and corresponding author, and an assistant professor of internal medicine at the U-M Medical School. "The mechanism we have identified in graft-versus-host disease may be involved in autoimmune diseases as well."

The study appears in the July issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Context:
Bone marrow stem cell transplants are most commonly used to treat leukemia and lymphoma. By replenishing depleted blood cells, the transplants allow higher doses of chemotherapy to more effectively get rid of cancer cells.

But as many as half of bone marrow transplant recipients develop acute or chronic symptoms of graft-versus-host disease, which can affect the skin, liver and gastrointestinal tract. Reddy calls the disease "the single biggest barrier to bone marrow transplant."

The study suggests a novel way to treat graft-versus-host disease with an already available drug that is stirring considerable interest as an anti-cancer agent. The FDA approved SAHA, marketed under the name Vorinostat, as a treatment for one kind of lymphoma in 2006 and for leukemia in 2007. SAHA is being used off label for other cancers, including lung, brain and colon cancer.

The U-M study adds to a growing body of research suggesting HDAC inhibitors also may be useful tools to reign in misguided immune responses. Researchers elsewhere have recently shown that HDAC inhibitors have been beneficial in animal studies of lupus and inflammatory bowel disease. Other studies suggest the drugs could be useful in regulating the immune response in heart and islet cell transplants.

Research details:
The U-M researchers studied the responses of immune system dendritic cells in mice given SAHA and ITF 2357, another new HDAC inhibitor. Dendritic cells are important immune system cells whose varied roles are beginning to be fully understood.

The scientists looked at the two HDAC inhibitors' effects on mouse and human dendritic cells in culture. They found that as they suspected, the drugs acted to diminish the dendritic cells' key role in promoting pro-inflammatory proteins called cytokines. Specifically, the researchers found that the HDAC inhibitors increase the expression of IDO, an enzyme which represses dendritic cell activity.

They tested the HDAC inhibitors in mice bred to display the effects of graft -versus-host disease. When they injected the mice with dendritic cells treated with the drugs, they found the drugs were able to reduce the disease's effects.

The clinical trial: The trial is not yet recruiting patients. For questions and information on the U-M bone marrow transplant program, contact the U-M Cancer AnswerLine, 800-865-1125, canceranswerline@med.umich.edu

Journal citation: Journal of Clinical Investigation, Vol. 118, no. 7, July 2008, www.jci.org

Funding: National Institutes of Health, Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development Award, Amy Strelzer Manasevit-National Marrow Donor Program

Additional authors: Yaping Sun, M.D., Ph.D., Elizabeth Weisiger, B.S., Yoshinobu Maeda, M.D., Ph.D., Oleg Krijanovski, M.D., Ph.D., Chelsea Malter, B.S. and Tomorni Toubai, M.D., Ph.D., U-M Department of Internal Medicine; Raimon Duran Struuck, D.V.M., Shawn G. Clouthier, M.S., Isao Tawara, M.D., Ph.D. and Erin Gatza, Ph.D., Department of Pediatrics, U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center; Cen Liu, M.D., Ph.D., University of Florida; Paolo Mascagni, Ph.D., ItalFarmaco S.p.A., Milan, Italy; and Charles A. Dinarello, M.D., University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.

Anne Rueter | University of Michigan
Further information:
http://www.jci.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht The genes are not to blame
20.07.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Targeting headaches and tumors with nano-submarines
20.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

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: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>