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A double-barreled immune cell approach for neuroblastoma
Date:11/2/2008

ancer cells.

When the researchers put the artificial receptor into both ordinary T-lymphocytes and those that are stimulated by the virus into the 11 patients, they found that the cancer directed cells stimulated by the Epstein-Barr virus lasted as long as 18 months and at higher levels than the other cells.

Neuroblastoma is a tumor of primitive cells that go on to form the sympathetic nervous system. Apart from brain tumors, it is the most common solid cancer of children, and accounts for 7 percent of the total. In two-thirds of cases, it is not diagnosed until it has already spread to other parts of the body.

He and his colleagues hope to improve the treatment to make the T-lymphocytes more potent cancer killers, he said. One way would be to add specific receptors for proteins that allow the T-lymphocytes to avoid the immune-dampening effects of the cancers. Another might be to give the treatment right after the patients receive a stem cell transplant. At that time, the number of tumor cells would be at its lowest and there would be a lot of signals telling the T-lymphocytes to increase in number.

Within the next year, they plan to add receptors for other cancers to the virus-specific T-cells and see if they get the same cancer-fighting effect.


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Contact: Kimberlee Norton
kknorton@bcm.edu
713-798-4710
Baylor College of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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