Navigation Links
Tumor wizardry wards off attacks from the immune system

Like the fictional wizard Harry Potter, some cancerous tumors seem capable of wrapping themselves in an invisibility cloak. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that pancreatic tumors hide from the body's immune surveillance by surrounding themselves with cells that make it hard for the immune system to detect them.

The tumor-protecting cells are white blood cells called regulatory T cells, or T-reg for short. Under ordinary circumstances, T-reg cells inhibit immune components responsible for killing unwanted cells -- this allows T-reg cells to help prevent autoimmune reactions.

The scientists discovered that cancerous cells take advantage of T-reg cells' suppressor ability, enlisting them to keep the immune system at bay. Their report appears in the July/August issue of the Journal of Immunotherapy.

"Earlier, we found that T-reg cells are much more prevalent in patients with breast cancer and pancreatic cancer than in healthy patients," says David C. Linehan, M.D., associate professor of surgery and a researcher with the Siteman Cancer Center. "The new findings show that tumors are directly responsible for the increase of T-reg cells and can attract T-reg cells to their vicinity. This could be one way for tumors to evade immune surveillance."

Linehan believes this could explain the failure of many experimental anti-cancer vaccines. Such vaccines are designed to rev up the immune response to cancer cells so that the immune system can attack tumors. But a tumor shielded with T-reg cells could potentially circumvent the immune system's attack and remain safe.

In mice implanted with pancreatic cancer, the researchers demonstrated that tumor growth caused an increase in T-reg cells in both the blood stream and in lymph nodes leading from the tumors.

When the research team blocked a signaling molecule that pancreatic tumors secrete in abundance, T-reg cells were no longer present in the tumor-draining lymph nodes, suggesting that this signaling molecule, referred to as TGF-beta, has an important role in weaving a tumor's cloak of invisibility. Such information could lead to a method for blocking tumors from using T-reg cells for protection. Other research by Linehan and colleagues showed that in mice with pancreatic cancer, simply depleting T-reg cells slowed tumor growth and increased survival time.

"We're looking at several potential ways to interfere with tumor recruitment of T-reg cells," Linehan says. "We'd like to see these findings advance cancer immunotherapy. We want to find a way to actively suppress T-reg cells and at the same time actively evoke an immune response to tumor-specific antigens."

In collaboration with other researchers at the School of Medicine, Linehan is planning to set up a clinical trial that pairs T-reg depletion with anti-cancer vaccine as a therapy for pancreatic cancer patients.

"We're attacking the problem from different angles hoping to translate these findings to our patients," Linehan says. "Right now, no effective treatment exists for pancreatic cancer."


'"/>

Source:Washington University School of Medicine


Related biology news :

1. Missing Receptor Molecule Causes Tumor Growth
2. Stem Cells Found In Cerebellum; Possible Cell of Origin for Childhood Brain Tumors
3. New Therapeutic Target Identified In Inherited Brain Tumor Disorder
4. Tumor cells that border normal tissue are told to leave
5. Tumor cells evade death through autophagy
6. Tumor-suppressor gene is critical for placenta development
7. Towards precise classification of cancers based on robust gene functional expression profiles
8. Virologists make major step towards understanding the process of HIV infection
9. Cats indifference towards sugar explained
10. Survey Uncovers Surprising Attitudes Towards HIV Vaccine Research
11. A new step towards an AIDS vaccine
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:12/15/2016)... and BADEN-BADEN, Germany , December 15, ... global financial services provider, today announced an agreement with NuData ... biometrics, to join forces. The partnership will enable clients to ... in compliance with local data protection regulation. ... In order to provide ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... Dec. 14, 2016 "Increase in mobile transactions ... The mobile biometrics market is expected to grow from ... by 2022, at a CAGR of 29.3% between 2016 ... as the growing demand for smart devices, government initiatives, ... "Software component is expected to grow at a ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... Israel , December 7, 2016 BioCatch ... the expansion of its patent portfolio, which grew to over 40 granted ... , , ... its recently filed patent entitled " System, Device, and Method ... technology that enables device makers to forego costly hardware components needed to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/23/2017)... 2017  Spherix Incorporated (Nasdaq: SPEX ) ... of technology and monetization of intellectual property, today provided ... Anthony Hayes , Chief Executive Officer of ... to communicate with shareholders about the status of existing ... on other patent assets that fit with our current ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... January 23, 2017 , ... Calvert Labs, Inc. announced ... and Senior Director, Safety Pharmacology. Dr. Thomas earned his M.Sc. and Ph.D. ... career as an academic and industry preclinical drug developer spans more than three ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... ... resource to the healthcare industry ( http://www.gandlscientific.com ), has announced the opening of ... of clinical and scientific consultants and contractors. This is the latest step in ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... -- Bioptix, Inc. (Nasdaq: BIOP ... 14, 2017 the Board of Directors of the Company ... certain employees associated with the September 2016 acquisition of ... on January 16, 2017 and terminations are expected to ... severance benefits in certain circumstances of up to one ...
Breaking Biology Technology: