Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study finds potential way to improve cancer immunotherapy

05.09.2003


Drugs that contain antibodies are a standard part of therapy for many cancers, but these antibodies do not always work. A finding by researchers with the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa may help make the antibodies more effective by boosting the power of white blood cells, which play a role in fighting cancer.



One way that antibodies ideally function is to stick to cancer cells and signal various types of white blood cells to kill the cancer cells. The UI Holden Center team and colleagues used mouse cell lines that mimic human conditions to learn how different types of white blood cells work with antibodies and contribute to killing cancer cells. The team used different classes of an immune stimulant known as CpG ODN (CpG oligodeoxynucleotide) to encourage different types of white blood cells, either separately or together, to work with antibodies to kill cancer.

The new information could help doctors make antibodies more effective by providing a way to gear up specific types of white blood cells -- natural killer cells and granulocytes -- at the same time that patients receive a dose of anti-cancer antibodies, said George Weiner, M.D., UI professor of internal medicine, director of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center and principal investigator for the study. The findings appear in the Sept. 1 issue of the journal Cancer Research.


"Previous research suggested that different white blood cells can kill cancer cells," Weiner said. "We found that by selecting other agents as stimulants, we can specially direct one type or another of white blood cells to do the killing. It’s an extra measure of control for the white blood cells that you specifically want to activate to destroy the cancer cells."

Weiner said the finding potentially could lead to improved therapies for patients. The UI currently is evaluating this approach in clinical trials.

Monoclonal antibodies currently used in cancer therapies include rituximab (Rituxan) for certain types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and trastuzumab (Herceptin) for breast cancer.

People do not normally have these antibodies in their system. The cancer-fighting versions are based on natural antibodies and designed to react with cancer cells, Weiner said. With cancers, the immune system fails to recognize tumors as invaders -- that is where drugs can step in and make a difference.

"Using antibodies is a way of taking the immune system and redirecting it toward killing the cancer," Weiner said.

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is cancer of the lymphatic system, which normally fights infection. The lymphatic system includes lymph nodes and parts of the body that include lymphatic tissues: the spleen, thymus gland, bone marrow, adenoids and tonsils.


###
Contributors to the study included investigators at the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands.

Funding for the study included a Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). For information on that grant, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/~ournews/2002/september/0918SPORE.html. The study also included support from Coley Pharmaceutical Group. Weiner serves as a consultant for Coley.

The Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center is Iowa’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center. NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers are recognized as the leaders in developing new approaches to cancer prevention and cancer care, conducting leading edge research and educating the public about cancer.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at www.uihealthcare.com.

Becky Soglin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uiowa.edu/~ournews/2002/september/0918SPORE.html
http://www.uihealthcare.com

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 >>>