Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Changing the timing of cancer vaccines

24.01.2005


A molecule specially modified by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine can reset the biological clock for cancer vaccines, potentially making them more potent.



In a report that appears online today in Nature Medicine, Dr. David Spencer and colleagues describe their method of delaying the time at which crucial dendritic cells are activated by the immune system. This prolongs the time during which the cancer vaccines can undertake their task, he said.

Dendritic cells are important because they present to the immune system the proteins or antigens that cause the immune system to go into action. They are key to cancer vaccines that seek to alert the immune system to presence of cancer by making it aware of tumor antigens or proteins that are unique to that malignancy.


"Once you activate dendritic cells, you turn on a biological clock," said Spencer, an associate professor of immunology at BCM. "Dendritic cells have a finite life span after they are activated."

The makers of cancer vaccines would like to activate the dendritic cells, expose them to the tumor antigens and then reinject them into patients. Once in the body, they would migrate to the lymph nodes where they interact with specific immune system operatives called T-cells, activating them to attack the cancer. However, the process can take as long as a day, reducing the period during which the dendritic cells are active and can accomplish their work.

However, using a drug that results in the linking of two identical molecules (a process called dimerization), Spencer and colleagues found that they could wait until the dendritic cells got to the lymph nodes to activate them. That significantly extends the period during which the cells can remain active and, in turn, activate the immune system’s T-cells.

Spencer steered graduate student Brent Hanks toward manipulating dendritic cells, but credits Hanks with settling upon a molecule called CD40 that could be used to activate the dendritic cells after they reached the lymph nodes.

"This was a key decision, since CD40 is likely the most potent activation molecule on these cells," he said. "Our dendritic cells live longer in the lymph nodes and we think they are more potent when the get there."

"We think because of the special attributes of this approach, it should have a better chance of working in patients whose immune systems are already attenuated by disease or prior treatment and should be complementary to other approaches already out there," said Spencer.

Others who participated included Drs. Kevin M. Slawin, Rana A K Singh, Michael Barry, Jianghong Jiang, and Weitao Song, all of BCM.

Ross Tomlin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bcm.tmc.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

nachricht New antibody analysis accelerates rational vaccine design
09.08.2018 | Scripps Research Institute

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: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Diving robots find Antarctic winter seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide

15.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Early opaque universe linked to galaxy scarcity

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>