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A*STAR scientists make headway for cancer treatment and cancer prevention with landmark discovery
Date:9/8/2011

the cancer cell.

Said Dr Zeng, who first identified PRL-3 phosphatase in 1998, "We are very excited because this study showed for the first time that it is possible to successfully suppress cancer growth by direct targeting of intracellular oncoproteins, such as PRL-3, with the respective cancer-specific antibodies." Using mouse models in this study, by directly introducing PRL-3 antibodies into the mice, the scientists observed a 70% to 90% reduction of tumours caused by PRL-3 expressing cancer cells. This significant reduction is also achieved by vaccinating the mice with PRL-3 antigen to produce antibodies that could specifically target PRL-3-expressing cancer cells.

To prove that antibodies can indeed directly target other intracellular oncoproteins as a general phenomenon, the team also performed the experiment with two different representative intracellular proteins, EGFP and mT oncoprotein. It was observed that the antibodies introduced to the mice could directly target the intracellular oncoproteins to dramatically retard tumour progression.

Added Dr Zeng, "This means that a whole new list of intracellular oncoproteins previously thought to be untargetable by therapeutic antibodies or vaccinations can now be potentially targeted. This will expand the scope for tailor-made antibody therapy as well as usher in a new era of tailor-made cancer vaccines."

Professor Sir David Lane, Chief Scientist of A*STAR said, "Dr Zeng's breakthrough discovery is a fine example of how years of basic research lay the foundation for advancement in translational medicine. This study has introduced a potential paradigm shift in the ways we target cancer cells with antibodies and vaccines. It has opened unexpected doors of possibilities in cancer and immunology research. Much further work will of course be needed to establish the safety and efficacy of this approach in cancer patients but it indeed paves the way for more targeted cancer
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Contact: Sarah Chang KC
chang_kai_chen@a-star.edu.sg
656-826-6442
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore
Source:Eurekalert

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