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 Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'
16.11.2018 | Purdue University

nachricht Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal
14.11.2018 | Michigan Technological University

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: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>