Navigation Links
Genetically Modified Natural Killer Immune Cells Attack, Kill Leukemia Cells

Natural killer (NK) immune system cells can be genetically modified to brandish a powerful "on-switch" that prompts them to aggressively attack and kill leukemic cells. This finding, from researchers at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, suggests a way to improve the outcome of children who receive treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) or other blood cancers.

Results of the St. Jude study are published in the current online issue of Blood.

The researchers demonstrated how to overcome significant technical hurdles that have until now slowed development of NK-based therapies for ALL, according to Dario Campana, M.D., Ph.D., a member of St. Jude Hematology-Oncology and Pathology, and senior author of the Blood report. Progress in adapting NK cells to the treatment of ALL had been significantly hampered because researchers were not able to grow large numbers of these immune cells in the laboratory, and because NK cells normally have only weak anti-leukemic activity.

The key breakthroughs made by the St. Jude team were the development of a laboratory technique for rapidly producing a large, pure population of NK cells from a small sample of blood; and developing a technique for genetically modifying NK cells so that they would become potent killers when they encountered leukemic cells.

In order to grow large populations of NK cells, the team started with samples of blood containing a variety of different immune system cells. They placed this sample into a dish containing a type of human leukemia cell called K562. Campana's team genetically modified the K562 cells so they carried on their surfaces many copies of two different proteins, 4-1BBL and IL-15. The genetically modified K562 cells quickly stimulated the expansion of the NK cell population to more than10,000 times their original number. The technique triggered growth of NK cells specifically, which greatly simplified the ability of the researchers to collect a pure popu lation of these immune cells.

The researchers then genetically modified the growing NK cells so they carried on their surface an artificial receptor that made them particularly aggressive and effective killers that attacked only leukemic cells. A receptor is a protein that binds to a specific target molecule. The artificial receptor on the NK molecule was designed to recognize a protein called CD19, which is found on the surface of leukemic cells. When the receptor bound to CD19 on leukemic cells, it set off a reaction that super-charged the killing activity of the NK cell.

"By developing a technique for cultivating large numbers of NK cells from a small blood sample, we made it practical to consider them a potential treatment against many different types of cancer," Campana said. "By genetically modifying NK cells so they expressed the CD19 receptor, we made them specifically effective against ALL cells."

A potential clinical application for the technology developed in this study is in leukemia patients who are treated with hematopoietic (blood cell-forming) cell transplantation. In this case, NK cells will be derived from the transplant donor, expanded and genetically modified. These modified NK cells will then be infused into the patient after the transplant in order to eliminate residual leukemic cells. In another application, NK cells could be obtained from a patient while in remission and then reinfused after genetic modification if the patient suffers a resurgence of the leukemia.

"We look forward to seeing this strategy being added to the management of children with ALL," said Chihaya Imai, M.D., the postdoctoral student who did most of the work on this project.


'"/>

Source:St. Jude Children's Research Hospital


Related biology news :

1. Genetically modified natural killer immune cells attack, kill leukemia cells
2. Genetically modified rice in China benefits farmers health, study finds
3. Genetically engineered animals help in scientific research that may benefit children
4. Genetically modified maize not found in southern Mexico
5. Genetically engineered mosquitoes show resistance to dengue fever virus
6. Genetically altered mice no longer like cocaine
7. Genetically engineered blood protein can be used to split water into oxygen and hydrogen
8. Modified collagen could yield important medical applications
9. Natural Killers Could Lead to New Hepatitis Treatments
10. Natural tumor suppressor in body discovered by UCSD medical researchers
11. Naturally occurring asbestos linked to lung cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/3/2016)... Das DOTM (Department ... hat ein 44 Millionen $-Projekt ... einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung und IT-Infrastruktur, an Decatur ... Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. Zahlreiche renommierte internationale Anbieter ... aber Decatur wurde als konformste und innovativste ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... patient care by providing unparalleled technology to leaders of the medical imaging industry.  As ... added to the range of products distributed by Ampronix. Photo - ... ... ... ...
(Date:5/3/2016)...  Neurotechnology, a provider of high-precision biometric identification ... Identification System (ABIS) , a complete system for ... can process multiple complex biometric transactions with high ... face or iris biometrics. It leverages the core ... MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have been used in ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ... and commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 ... targets such as WDR5 represent an exciting class ... in precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased ... and faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 were ... Read More About the Class of 2016 PCF Young ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software ... State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. , ... Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as a ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... Hematology Review, 2016;12(1):22-8 http://doi.org/10.17925/OHR.2016.12.01.22 ... , the peer-reviewed journal from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew ... escalating cost of cancer care is placing an ... result of expensive biologic therapies. With the patents ...
Breaking Biology Technology: