USC researchers find ways to improve effectiveness against tumors
Researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California have isolated a protein fragment derived from the cancer immunotherapy drug interleukin 2 (IL-2) that seems to enhance the uptake of chemotherapeutic agents into tumors.
In fact, says Alan Epstein, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pathology at the Keck School of Medicine, when this patented protein fragment is attached to a tumor-targeting antibody, it can prompt tumors to soak up more than 300 percent the normal amount of chemotherapy drugs. It does this, Epstein says, by making the tumors blood vessel walls more "open" or permeable to the drugs. (Blood vessel walls are made of epithelial cells that are usually tightly joined together; when the junctions between those cells loosen up, it becomes easier for molecules to enter or leave the bloodstream.)
Jon Weiner | EurekAlert!
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